Rick Warren is one of America’s most influential Christian ministers. He’s so popular that many folks call him “America’s Pastor.” Warren has earned a reputation as larger than life and until a couple of years ago he was large around the middle! Because of health concerns he decided to shed a few pounds. But why go it alone? After all, he had his own personal cheering section if he wanted it – Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California, an evangelical megachurch he started in 1980. Thirty-three years later Saddleback boasts over 20,000 weekly attendees. He felt sure that many folks would cheer him on while others would join him in his endeavor to achieve a healthier lifestyle. So he said No! to Jenny Craig and took on the daunting task of developing a weight loss program that, according to Rick Warren, is “God’s prescription for your health.”
Sound like a plan?
Well, yes, in fact he christened it “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.”
On January 15, 2011, over 6,000 people made the trek to Saddleback’s main campus to learn what the Bible allegedly says about getting healthy. Thousands more watched online at the other Saddleback campuses.
In order to achieve his lofty goal, he brought together “three of the leading health specialists in America.” But surprisingly the three doctors picked by the pastor were not Christians—not by a long shot. In fact, when you look into some of the things they’re into (more on this in a moment), it’s fair to say that all three of them are into New Age/New Thought spirituality.
Who are the doctors Rick Warren chose? 1) Mehmet Oz. Dr. Oz is a Sufi Muslim, a cardio vascular surgeon, and popular daytime talk show host. 2) Dr. Daniel Amen (pronounced A-mun). Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist. He’s also a practitioner of Tanta which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Dr. Amen is also a self-professed Christian. 3) Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman is a practitioner in alternative therapies in health and medicine and is a secular Jew.
Does this seem like a good fit too you? I mean, why didn’t he elicit the aid of three notable Christian specialists to create “God’s prescription for your health”?
Furthermore, why would a high-profile evangelical pastor choose doctors who are entrenched in New Age/New Thought (occult) spirituality, as well as questionable alternative health practices? Warren’s fully aware that Paul cautioned the church in Thessalonica to abstain from even the appearance of evil (1 Thes. 5:22).
In light of what the Bible clearly teaches, it’s surprising that a Christian minister, who understands what the Bible teaches (or at least he should), is unconcerned that some in his flock may not know that the New Age practices he purports are anti-biblical and that they might very well involve themselves in the sort of pagan practices that the above mentioned doctors promote, practices that are expressly forbidden in Scripture. God’s people are to be separate from the pagan nations. In 2 Cor. 6:14-15 Paul says this to the Church:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
When Pastor Rick chose the three doctors—specialists or not–to design a weight loss plan it was done in a way that would appeal to the sheep of his pasture, his audience. And of course many of them bought into their shepherd’s health plan, hook line and sinker.
But – why was he not concerned about his flock’s spiritual health? What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
The three doctors believe that practicing meditation on a regular basis is integral to health and fitness. This is known as contemplative prayer (CP). Rick Warren promotes CP even though he knows perfectly well that it’s a form of neo-Gnosticism that, sadly, Protestants/evangelicals have borrowed from the monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Meditation is recommended in the book. On the Daniel Plan website, Dr. Joseph Mercola demonstrates the 4-7-8 breathing exercise (here) that he learned from meditation proponent Dr. Andrew Weil while attending a presentation. Dr. Hyman wrote an article for the site, Six Ways I Changed My Life and How You Can Change Yours without once mentioning God. He did, however, recommend the Hindu practice of yoga. So as you can see, there’s a very good reason for sounding the alarm regarding the Daniel Plan book that’s set to be released December 3, 2013.
Tell me more…
What does CP involve? Without getting too far afield, practitioners choose a single word or short phrase from the Bible and repeat it over and over during breathing techniques that come from India. Doing breathing techniques is an attempt to “bind the mind with one thought.” The goal is to achieve an altered state of consciousness (empty the mind completely) and to attain to the “higher self” that New Age/New Thought devotees believe to be the divinity within each person. The popular term for this is Transcendental Meditation.
So, what’s the big deal about Christians involving themselves in Eastern meditation? Well, the big deal is that when a person attains an altered state of consciousness it may bring him/her into contact with “familiar spirits,” which is a way of saying neutral or benign spirits. More commonly the spirits are anything but benign; they’re demons! According to the Bible, demons are fallen angles – prideful angles that rebelled against God and as a result were banished from His kingdom. Scripture rightly refers to the banished angels as “spiritual forces of evil.” They remain in rebellion against God. The spirits often appear to humans as “angels of light” — but they’re masters of deceit! So they’re not the good guys they trick us into thinking they are. Trust me on this; evil spirits are your worst nightmare – far worse than Freddie Kruger! For this reason Paul forewarned of Satan’s fondness for fooling the flock:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:12-15)
Former New Ager Ray Yungen warns:
Many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation.
Doctors Amen and Hyman co-authored the Daniel Plan book but Dr. Oz didn’t participate. Here’s a bit of background info on the book’s co-authors excerpted from my 2011 column Rick Warren Introduces the “Devil Plan”:
Dr. Daniel Amen
Dr. Amen is a child and adult psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine. In addition he is a brain imaging specialist.
Dr. Amen teaches “techniques that will improve ‘brain health,’ claiming that poor brain health is associated with a host of problems from overeating to depression. … He includes meditation (and in fact this is his primary tool) as a way to have a healthy brain.”
Dr. Amen recommends a meditation called Kriya Kirtan which is from the Kundalini tradition:
“I teamed with Drs. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Nisha Money to study the impact of meditation on the brain. We chose a simple 12 minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan, that is easy for busy people to practice. It is based on the five primal sounds: Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa (aa being the fifth sound). Meditators [sic]say each sound as they consecutively touch their thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. The sounds and fingering are repeated for two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently, two minutes whispering and two minutes out loud.” (Online source)
Dr. Amen is also a practitioner of Tantric or tantric sex which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) reports:
“In a 6-CD set called Create a More Passionate Night, Dr. Amen has teamed up with advanced certified Tantra educator, T. J. Bartel. … Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.”
“Make no mistake about it” says LTR, “Reiki, meditation, tantric sex – these are very powerful mystical experiences that have the capability to delude and deceive those who are involved with it.”
For Christians who have read to this point, I hope you’re becoming alarmed.
Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman is editor-in-chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine which is said to be “the most prestigious journal in the field of integrative medicine, and the medical editor of Alternative Medicine, the Art and Science of Healthy Living.”
In her article, Alternative/ Blended/ Complementary/ Integrated Healing, Marcia Montenegro examines alternative therapies:
“It is called alternative because the technique/ drug/ herb has not been or cannot be adequately tested, or has been found ineffective or dangerous. If it were a safe, tested treatment, it would not be in the alternative category. Many cited studies to support these methods are flawed, short-term, based on anecdotal evidence, conducted by believers in the techniques, & often are not published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The terms complementary, blended, and integrated are now being used as well since alternative treatments are being combined with traditional medicine. This makes it more difficult to test the alternative methods or to know what is really working when the patient improves. It should be remembered that the placebo effect accounts for 30% or more for a person feeling better.”
Dr. Hyman claims he’s not into meditation but he does recommend yoga to create calm.
In my article Can A Pagan Practices Be “Christianized” I explain why Christians must avoid yoga:
“Christian apologists John Ankerberg and John Weldon maintain that, ‘The basic premise of yoga theory is the fundamental unity of all existence: God, man, and all of creation are ultimately one divine reality.’ To explain the basic premise, the authors quote from an editorial in the Yoga Journal: “We are all aware that yoga means ‘union’ and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north—all share the same essential [divine] nature.””
Dr. Hyman participated in a program called Yoga, Body & Spirit at Shambhala Mountain. The program included Susan Piver, who offered instruction in the ancient wisdom tradition of Buddhist meditation, and Richard Reoch who presented Golden Ball Chi Kung.
Dr. Hyman retails expensive supplements “critical for supporting lifelong health,” books and CDs in his “healthy living store” online. The UltraWellness Essentials Kit for Women costs $130 for a one month supply. For youngsters it’s a tad less. Only $47 per month because “Like adults, children need a purified source of essential fatty acids to help build healthy brain cells, support focus and attention, and optimize metabolism.”
This is UltraBunk!
Earth to Dr. Hyman! At your exorbitant cost for “high-quality multi vitamin and minerals” most families can’t afford to get healthy! (Visit Dr. Hyman’s store)
Why has this not dawned on Pastor Rick? In one of his promotional videos he held up each of the doctors’ books and urged his congregants to purchase them! This makes one wonder if Dr. Hyman’s books recommend the high priced vitamins, and if this is the case, who derives benefit from the sale of these products?
That an evangelical pastor would allow his sheep to be influenced by New Age ideas and questionable medical practices should give us pause. Christians should avoid becoming involved in any sort of assembly where we are powerless to address issues that come up which could cause us to compromise our biblical principles. Moreover, it should give us pause when the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ teams up with occultists!
I’ll close with a quote from John 10:7-13:
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling [hired hand], and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
New Age Spirituality–On Solid Rock Resources
Contemplative Prayer—On Solid Rock Resources
Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus—Berit Kjos and Sara Leslie
Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, and Spiritual Disciplines–By Ken Silva
Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Accelerates – Tells Followers to Practice 4-7-8 Hinduistic Meditation –By Lighthouse Trails Research
“And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet, and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit.” (Rev. 9:1)
In his Concise Commentary Matthew Henry identifies falling stars as tepid, indecisive, weak or apostate clergy who,
“Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ.”
John identifies antichrists, in this case clergy who serve the devil rather than Christ, sequentially. First, like Bultmann, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Funk, Paul Tillich, and John Shelby Spong, they specifically deny the living, personal Holy Trinity in favor of Gnostic pagan, immanent or Eastern pantheist conceptions. Though God the Father Almighty in three Persons upholds the souls of men and maintains life and creation, His substance is not within nature (space-time dimension) as pantheism maintains, but outside of it. Sinful men live within nature and are burdened by time and mortality; God is not.
Second, the specific denial of the Father logically negates Jesus the Christ, the Word who was in the beginning (John 1), was with God, and is God from the creation of all things (1 John 1). In a pre-incarnate theophany, Jesus is the Angel who spoke “mouth to mouth” to Moses (Num. 12:6-9; John 9:20) and at sundry times and in many ways “spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all…” (Hebrews 1:1) Jesus the Christ is the incarnate Son of God who is the life and light of men, who by His shed blood on the Cross died for the remission of all sins and bestowed the privilege of adoption on all who put their faith in Him. Therefore, to deny the Holy Father is to logically deny the deity of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, hence,
“…every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist . . . and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3).
According to Peter (2 Peter 2:1), falling stars will work among the faithful, teaching damnable heresies that deny the Lord, cause the fall of men into unbelief, and bring destruction upon themselves:
“The natural parents of modern unbelief turn out to have been the guardians of belief.” Many thinking people came at last “to realize that it was religion, not science or social change that gave birth to unbelief. Having made God more and more like man—intellectually, morally, emotionally—the shapers of religion made it feasible to abandon God, to believe simply in man.” (James Turner of the University of Michigan in “American Babylon,” Richard John Neuhaus, p. 95)
Falling Stars and Damnable Heresy
Almost thirty years ago, two well-respected social science scholars, William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark found themselves alarmed by what they saw as a rising tide of irrationalism, superstition and occultism—channeling cults, spirit familiars, necromancers, Wiccans, Satanists, Luciferians, goddess worshippers, ‘gay’ shamans, Hermetic magicians and other occult madness at every level of society, particularly within the most influential— Hollywood, academia and the highest corridors of political power.
Like many scientists, they were equally concerned by Christian opposition to naturalistic evolution. As is common in the science community, they assumed the cause of these social pathologies was somehow due to fundamentalism, their term for authentic Christian theism as opposed to liberalized Christianity. Yet to their credit, the research they undertook to discover the cause was conducted both scientifically and with great integrity. What they found was so startling it caused them to re-evaluate their attitude toward authentic Christian theism. Their findings led them to say:
“It would be a mistake to conclude that fundamentalists oppose all science (when in reality they but oppose) a single theory (that) directly contradicts the bible. But it would be an equally great mistake to conclude that religious liberals and the irreligious possess superior minds of great rationality, to see them as modern personalities who have no need of the supernatural or any propensity to believe unscientific superstitions. On the contrary…they are much more likely to accept the new superstitions. It is the fundamentalists who appear most virtuous according to scientific standards when we examine the cults and pseudo-sciences proliferating in our society today.” (“Superstitions, Old and New,” The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. IV, No. 4; summer, 1980)
In more detail they observed that authentic ‘born again’ Christians are far less likely to accept cults and pseudoscientific beliefs while the irreligious and liberalized Christians (i.e., progressive Catholics, Protestant emergent, NAR, word faith, prosperity gospel) are open to unscientific notions. In fact, these two groups are most disposed toward occultism.
As Bainbridge and Stark admitted, evolution directly contradicts the Bible, beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo. This means that evolution is the antithesis of the Genesis account. For this reason, discerning Christians refuse to submit to the evolutionary thinking that has swept Western and American society. Nor do they accept the evolutionary theism brought into the whole body of the Church by weak, tepid, indecisive, or apostate clergy.
Over eighty years ago, Rev. C. Leopold Clarke wrote that priests who embrace evolution (evolutionary theists) are apostates from the ‘Truth as it is in Jesus.’ (1 John2:2) Rev. Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college, discerned that evolution is the antithesis to the Revelation of God in the Deity of Jesus Christ, thus it is the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration:
“It is a battering-ram of unbelief—a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high. The one thing which the human mind demands in its conception of God, is that, being Almighty, He works sovereignly and miraculously—and this is the thing with which Evolution dispenses….Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale has been produced by the impact of this teaching—an effect which can only be likened to the…collapse of foundations…” (Evolution and the Break-Up of Christendom, Philip Bell, creation.com, Nov. 27, 2012)
The faith of the Christian Church and of the average Christian has had, and still has, its foundation as much in the literal and historic meaning of Genesis, the book of beginnings revealed ‘mouth to mouth’ by the Angel to Moses, as in that of the person and deity of Jesus Christ. But how horrible a travesty of the sacred office of the Christian Ministry to see church leaders more eager to be abreast of the times, than earnestly contending for the Faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3). It is high time, said Rev. Clarke, that the Church,
“…. separated herself from the humiliating entanglement attending her desire to be thought up to date…What, after all, have custodians of Divine Revelation to do making terms with speculative Biology, which has….no message of comfort or help to the soul?” (ibid)
The primary tactic employed by priests eager to accommodate themselves and the Church to modern science and evolutionary thinking is predictable. It is the argument that evolution is entirely compatible with the Bible when we see Genesis, especially the first three chapters, in a non-literal, non-historical context. This is the argument embraced and advanced by mega-church pastor Timothy J. Keller.
With a position paper Keller published with the theistic evolutionary organization Bio Logos he joined the ranks of falling stars (Catholic and Protestant priests) stretching back to the Renaissance. Their slippery-slide into apostasy began when they gave into the temptation to embrace a non-literal, non-historical view of Genesis. (A response to Timothy Keller’s ‘Creation, Evolution and Christian Laypeople,” Lita Cosner, Sept. 9, 2010,creation.com)
This is not a heresy unique to modern times. The early Church Fathers dealt with this damnable heresy as well, counting it among the heretical tendencies of the Origenists. Fourth-century Fathers such as John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Ephraim the Syrian, all of whom wrote commentaries on Genesis, specifically warned against treating Genesis as an unhistorical myth or allegory. John Chrysostom strongly warned against paying heed to these heretics,
“…let us stop up our hearing against them, and let us believe the Divine Scripture, and following what is written in it, let us strive to preserve in our souls sound dogmas.” (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 31)
As St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote, higher theological, spiritual meaning is founded upon humble, simple faith in the literal and historic meaning of Genesis and one cannot apprehend rightly the Scriptures without believing in the historical reality of the events and people they describe. (ibid, Seraphim Rose, p. 40)
In the integral worldview teachings of the Fathers, neither the literal nor historical meaning of the Revelations of the pre-incarnate Jesus, the Angel who spoke to Moses, can be regarded as expendable. There are at least four critically important reasons why. First, to reduce the Revelation of God to allegory and myth is to contradict and usurp the authority of God, ultimately deny the deity of Jesus Christ; twist, distort, add to and subtract from the entire Bible and finally, to imperil the salvation of believers.
Scenarios commonly proposed by modern Origenists posit a cleverly disguised pantheist/immanent nature deity subject to the space-time dimension and forces of evolution. But as noted previously, it is sinful man who carries the burden of time, not God. This is a crucial point, for when evolutionary theists add millions and billions of zeros (time) to God they have transferred their own limitations onto Him. They have ‘limited’ God and made Him over in their own image. This is not only idolatrous but satanic.
Additionally, evolution inverts creation. In place of God’s good creation from which men fell there is an evolutionary escalator starting at the bottom with matter, then progressing upward toward life, then up and through the life and death of millions of evolved creatures that preceded humans by millions of years until at long last an apish humanoid emerges into which a deity that is always in a state of becoming (evolving) places a soul.
Evolution amputates the entire historical precedent from the Gospel and makes Jesus Christ unnecessary as the atheist Frank Zindler enthusiastically points out:
“The most devastating thing that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus…into the ranks of the unemployed. I think evolution absolutely is the death knell of Christianity.” (“Atheism vs. Christianity,” 1996, Lita Cosner, creation.com, June 13, 2013)
None of this was lost on Darwin’s bulldog, Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1985). Huxley was thoroughly familiar with the Bible, thus he understood that if Genesis is not the authoritative Word of God, is not historical and literal despite its’ symbolic and poetic elements, then the entirety of Scripture becomes a collection of fairytales resulting in tragic downward spiraling consequences as the Catholic Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation makes clear in part:
“By denying the historical truth of the first chapters of Genesis, theistic evolutionism has fostered a preoccupation with natural causes almost to the exclusion of supernatural ones. By denying the several supernatural creative acts of God in Genesis, and by downplaying the importance of the supernatural activity of Satan, theistic evolutionists slip into a naturalistic mentality which seeks to explain everything in terms of natural causes. Once this mentality takes hold, it is easy for men to regard the concept of spiritual warfare as a holdover from the days of primitive superstition. Diabolical activity is reduced to material or psychological causes. The devil and his demons come to be seen as irrelevant. Soon ‘hell’ joins the devil and his demons in the category of antiquated concepts. And the theistic evolutionist easily makes the fatal mistake of thinking that he has nothing more to fear from the devil and his angels. According to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist of Rome, there is a tremendous increase in diabolical activity and influence in the formerly Christian world. And yet most of the bishops of Europe no longer believe in the existence of evil spirits….To the Fathers of the Church who believed in the truth of Genesis, this would be incredible. But in view of the almost universal acceptance of theistic evolution, it is hardly surprising.” (The Difference it makes: The Importance of the Traditional Doctrine of Creation, Hugh Owen, kolbecenter.org)
Huxley had ‘zero’ respect for modern Origenists and received enormous pleasure from heaping piles of hot coals and burning contempt upon them, thereby exposing their shallow-reasoning, hypocrisy, timidity, fear of non-acceptance, and unfaithfulness. With sarcasm dripping from his words he quipped,
“I am fairly at a loss to comprehend how any one, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures. The very conception of the Messiah, or Christ, is inextricably interwoven with Jewish history; the identification of Jesus of Nazareth with that Messiah rests upon the interpretation of passages of the Hebrew Scriptures which have no evidential value unless they possess the historical character assigned to them. If the covenant with Abraham was not made; if circumcision and sacrifices were not ordained by Jahveh; if the “ten words” were not written by God’s hand on the stone tables; if Abraham is more or less a mythical hero, such as Theseus; the story of the Deluge a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of the creation the dream of a seer; if all these definite and detailed narratives of apparently real events have no more value as history than have the stories of the regal period of Rome—what is to be said about the Messianic doctrine, which is so much less clearly enunciated? And what about the authority of the writers of the books of the New Testament, who, on this theory, have not merely accepted flimsy fictions for solid truths, but have built the very foundations of Christian dogma upon legendary quicksands?” (Darwin’s Bulldog—Thomas Huxley, Russell Grigg, creation.com, Oct. 14, 2008)
Pouring more contempt on them he asked,
“When Jesus spoke, as of a matter of fact, that “the Flood came and destroyed them all,” did he believe that the Deluge really took place, or not? It seems to me that, as the narrative mentions Noah’s wife, and his sons’ wives, there is good scriptural warranty for the statement that the antediluvians married and were given in marriage; and I should have thought that their eating and drinking might be assumed by the firmest believer in the literal truth of the story. Moreover, I venture to ask what sort of value, as an illustration of God’s methods of dealing with sin, has an account of an event that never happened? If no Flood swept the careless people away, how is the warning of more worth than the cry of “Wolf” when there is no wolf? If Jonah’s three days’ residence in the whale is not an “admitted reality,” how could it “warrant belief” in the “coming resurrection?” … Suppose that a Conservative orator warns his hearers to beware of great political and social changes, lest they end, as in France, in the domination of a Robespierre; what becomes, not only of his argument, but of his veracity, if he, personally, does not believe that Robespierre existed and did the deeds attributed to him?” (ibid)
Concerning Matthew 19:5:
“If divine authority is not here claimed for the twenty-fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis, what is the value of language? And again, I ask, if one may play fast and loose with the story of the Fall as a “type” or “allegory,” what becomes of the foundation of Pauline theology?” (ibid)
And concerning Cor. 15:21-22:
“If Adam may be held to be no more real a personage than Prometheus, and if the story of the Fall is merely an instructive “type,” comparable to the profound Promethean mythus, what value has Paul’s dialectic?” (ibid)
After much thought, C.S. Lewis concluded that evolution is the central, most radical lie at the center of a vast network of lies within which modern Westerners are entangled while Rev. Clarke identifies the central lie as the Gospel of another Spirit. The fiendish aim of this Spirit is to help men lose God, not find Him, and by contradicting the Divine Redeemer, compromising Priests are serving this Spirit and its’ diabolical purposes. To contradict the Divine Redeemer is the very essence of unfaithfulness, and that it should be done while reverence is professed,
“…. is an illustration of the intellectual and moral topsy-turvydom of Modernism…’He whom God hath sent speaketh the Words of God,’ claimed Christ of Himself (John 3:34), and no assumption of error can hold water in the face of that declaration, without blasphemy.”
Evolutionary theists are serving the devil, therefore “no considerations of Christian charity, of tolerance, of policy, can exonerate Christian leaders or Churches who fail to condemn and to sever themselves from compromising, cowardly, shilly-shallying priests”—the falling stars who “challenge the Divine Authority of Jesus Christ.” (ibid)
The rebuttals, warnings and counsels of the Fathers against listening to Origenists (and their modern evolutionary counterparts) indicates that the spirit of antichrist operating through modern rationalistic criticism of the Revelation of God is not a heresy unique to our times but was inveighed against by early Church Fathers.
From the scholarly writings of the Eastern Orthodox priest, Fr. Seraphim Rose, to the incisive analysis, rebuttals and warnings of the Catholic Kolbe Center, creation.com, Creation Research Institute, Rev. Clarke, and many other stalwart defenders of the faith once delivered, all are a clear, compelling call to the whole body of the Church to hold fast to the traditional doctrine of creation as it was handed down from the Apostles, for as God spoke and Jesus is the Living Word incarnate, it is incumbent upon the faithful to submit their wills to the Divine Will and Authority of God rather than to the damnable heresy proffered by falling stars eager to embrace naturalistic science and the devil’s antithesis— evolution. But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord,
“…you have your choice: choose this day that which pleases you, whom you would rather serve….but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
People are strange creatures. And sometimes Christians are the strangest. One would think that people who experience freedom in Christ would be the first ones to desire and defend the entire gamut of liberty. One would think that Paul’s words would deeply resonate with Christian folks: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1 KJV)
Unfortunately, many Christians today are as much in bondage as anyone outside of Christ. They are in bondage to tradition, ceremony, liturgy, etc. It is no hyperbole to say that they are as enslaved as were the Pharisees of old.
I recently reread Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. It has been awhile since I last read it and needed to be reminded of the old sage’s counsel. In his memoirs, he recalled how he had been invited to attend a Presbyterian church on the invitation of the parson whom he had befriended. He said he attended the church for five consecutive Sundays. He stopped attending after the fifth Sunday. The two reasons he gave were 1) the preacher had a very dry and boring delivery, and 2) the preacher was trying to make everybody good Presbyterians and not good citizens.
I believe Franklin’s observation could be made regarding a sizeable percentage of the pastors and churches in America today–regardless of denomination. Baptist preachers want everyone to be good Baptists; Pentecostal preachers want everyone to be good Pentecostals; Methodist preachers want everyone to be good Methodists; Lutheran preachers want everyone to be good Lutherans, etc. And if one does not subscribe to the traditions and tenets propounded in these churches, he or she is relegated to infidel status. But where do you find pastors and churches trying to make good citizens out of people? That’s why one will find judgmentalism and Phariseeism rampant in most churches today. As long as one has the form, little else matters.
Not only is good citizenship not taught in most churches; it is actually lampooned and denigrated. They teach that because the Scripture says we are citizens of Heaven, we have little or no responsibility to our country, State, town, etc. Of course, that doesn’t take them away from the mall or the television set when their favorite ball team is playing or the lake or the golf course.
But not only are so many of today’s pastors and churches enslaved to denominationalism, they are also enslaved to incorporationism. That might not be a real word, but it is a real truth.
Nowhere in Scripture is the church seen as a denomination or corporation. It is not even described as an organization. Yet, ask the average so-called Christian today, and they will tell you unless a church has a denomination, a building, and an incorporation status, it is not a church. I have actually heard professing Christians say that if a church did not have the IRS 501c3 government incorporation status, it was not a real church. Can you imagine that? Unless the church is not officially approved and sanctioned by the state, it is not a real church.
But what were churches before 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson introduced and successfully passed the 501c3 government corporation law in the United States? Think of it: over 1900 years of Church history, and there was never any such thing as a church being incorporated by the government; but since 1954, if a church does not have the 501c3 government corporation status, it is not a real church? Holy Cow, Margaret!
Ladies and gentlemen, the churches in the Book of Acts were not government corporations; the early churches that followed the apostles were not government corporations; the independent churches of the Dark Ages were not government corporations. The Reformation churches were not government corporations; the Pilgrim churches were not government corporations; the colonial churches were not government corporations; and the independent churches in oppressed countries today are not government corporations.
The Church can have only one Head, and it is not the government. It is Christ! To put the Lord’s Church into a place of subjugation and submission to the state is nothing short of heresy and blasphemy. And by accepting the 501c3 government corporation status, that is exactly what these modern pastors and churches in America are committing.
As a result, pastors and churches are afraid to do anything that might offend the IRS or jeopardize their tax-exempt incorporation status. This has left the Church in America impotent and silent. And, yes, I know, for some pastors it doesn’t take anything as monstrous as the IRS to keep them quiet; the threat of offending the donor base is all the intimidation many pastors need. Geez!
My study of history teaches me that when God’s people sought true independence and freedom, a spiritual awakening usually accompanied such a movement. The Church in Acts refused to be controlled or intimidated by Judaism; the Reformation Church refused to be controlled or intimidated by Romanism; the Pilgrim Church refused to be controlled or intimidated by European statism; the colonial church refused to be controlled or intimidated by British imperialism; the Confessing Church in Germany refused to be controlled or intimidated by Nazism; the true Church in China today refuses to be controlled or intimidated by communism, etc.
But what are most churches doing in America today? They are being controlled and intimidated by incorporationism–
However, all over America, Christians by the thousands are seeking deliverance from government bondage. They are tired of waiting for recalcitrant and apathetic pastors to take a stand, and they are leaving the 501c3 government-controlled churches by untold thousands. Many of them are seeking independent churches, while others are starting their own home churches. I know, because many of these folks write to tell me that they are gathering in living rooms, community centers, VFW halls, American Legion halls, etc., to watch our service at Liberty Fellowship each Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm Mountain Time.
To watch my messages live online, go to:
And if you want to watch my archived messages online, go here:
In fact, my message last Sunday deals at length with what I am talking about in this column today. Be prepared though: I preached for 1:45. Can you imagine? And people didn’t leave or even squirm. Even teenagers and little children sat and listened intently. Beyond that, I was interrupted several times with enthusiastic applause by a very positive and appreciative audience. Imagine that! Oh! And when I finished, no one came up and wanted to talk sports. Try that in these government-controlled 501c3 churches today.
I fully realize that there are some very courageous preachers out there who are pastoring 501c3 churches. I pastored one myself for over 30 years. For me, getting out meant relocating 2600 miles away to the Flathead Valley of Montana. Obviously, not everyone can do that. I also realize that trying to take a church out of the clutches of the 501c3 tentacles of the IRS is like trying to get out of the Mafia. Maybe harder. But I also know that the Christian migration toward freedom and independence has already begun. And there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. This is God’s doing.
The Church is the Lord’s Bride, and He will not allow His bride to sleep in a whorish bed forever. Just as has been the case throughout history, God is calling His bride out of the bondage of government submission and servitude into the glorious light and liberty of Christ.
It will not be very much longer until there will be only two types of churches in America: the official, state-controlled churches that are sleeping with Lucifer and the true churches of Christ that are basking in the liberty of the Gospel. Christians will not be able to stay neutral.
As I said, the exodus has already begun.
And, while I may not live to see it, I am convinced that as the call for liberty continues to swell in the minds and hearts of both Christians and non-Christians alike, God will send an accompanying spiritual awakening to this country; or at least, to regions within this country. It is inevitable. And, again, while I may not live to see the fruition of this awakening, I am also convinced that what we did by moving to Montana–and what the people of Liberty Fellowship are doing here–and what liberty-minded people are doing all over this country, is at the “tip of the spear” of a freedom fight that will truly change the course of history.
Dear Christian, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” God will never send an awakening to those who are content to sleep in servitude.
A group of influential pastors and ministers recently met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House where the Vice President called on them to use their influence to help pass President Barack Obama’s new gun control measures. Of course, these measures include the outlawing of all semi-automatic rifles, outlawing high-capacity magazines, and establishing a government-mandated national gun registration policy, which is subtly identified as “Universal Background Checks.” These measures were recently defeated in the US Senate, so now the White House is calling on the clergy to help sell this gun grab to America’s churches.
Here is how Breitbart.com covers the story: “Vice President Joe Biden wants pastors, rabbis and nuns to tell their flocks that enacting gun control is the moral thing to do. But another vote may have to wait until Congress wraps up work on an immigration overhaul.
“Biden met for two-and-a-half hours Monday with more than a dozen leaders from various faith communities –Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh, to name a few. Both Biden and the faith leaders encouraged each other not to give up on what has been an arduous and thus far fruitless effort by Biden and President Barack Obama to pass new gun laws in the wake of December’s schoolhouse shooting in Connecticut.
“Around a large, circular table in a conference room on the White House grounds, Biden waxed optimistic about prospects for passing a bill, according to four participants who spoke to The Associated Press after the meeting. Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed, joined the group, as did a handful of Obama aides who work on faith-based outreach. The meeting closed with a meditation and a prayer for action.”
The report continued saying, “Monday’s session reflects an attempt to broaden the coalition calling for new gun laws to include a wide array of religious groups–including evangelicals and conservative faith communities.”
The report concluded by saying, “A spokeswoman for Biden declined to comment on the meeting. But Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said a diverse spectrum of denominations and religious orders were represented. She said they included evangelical leaders Richard Cizik and Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, as well as Sister Marge Clark of Network, a Catholic group.”
See the report here:
There is nothing new about the White House attempting to use America’s pastors to promote gun control. Both the G.W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations have had the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct pastor training programs whereby pastors are instructed to use their influence to convince citizens to completely surrender any and all rights and liberties to the federal government in the event of a national emergency or crisis. Submission to tyrannical actions such as forced relocation and gun confiscation is taught in these training programs.
See this report:
And here is a local Louisiana television news report on the FEMA “Clergy Response Teams”:
Obviously, the Obama administration’s effort to enact more gun control has already enjoyed the support of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land (who is a member of the CFR) and evangelist Franklin Graham. It is noteworthy that Mr. Graham was in attendance at Vice President Biden’s private meeting. President Obama must consider Franklin Graham a key ally in his quest to enact these new gun control measures.
Unfortunately, a sizable percentage of America’s pulpits are occupied by men and women who are either extreme liberal and socialist activists or by conservatives who are sheepishly passive and compliant, and who would, therefore, say or do nothing to interfere with or resist any tyrannical efforts by the federal government. There are many other pastors who truly love freedom and would naturally resist any effort of government to usurp God-given liberties, but they have been indoctrinated in the fallacious “obey-the-government-no-
This is the biggest difference between Obama’s gun control measures and the efforts of old King George III when he attempted to seize the weapons of the colonists that were stored in Concord, Massachusetts. When that attempt occurred in 1775, the pulpits of Colonial America were mostly unified in renouncing this act of tyranny and in boldly proclaiming the Biblical principles of lawful self-defense to their congregations. But when Barack Obama and Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to enact laws in 2013 that were equally egregious to those of old King George, the silence of America’s pulpits was deafening. Yes, millions of liberty-loving Americans rose to the challenge and helped beat back Obama’s gun grab, but this was done with little or no help from America’s pastors. This fact was not lost to the White House, and now the effort is underway to convince America’s pastors and ministers to openly support Obama’s gun grab.
For the sake of freedom and liberty in this country, it is critical that America’s pastors start sounding forth the clarion call. It is critical that they become “watchmen on the wall.” It is critical that they join the fight to preserve, protect, and defend those Natural rights that are safeguarded in the US Constitution–including the right of the people to keep and bear arms. PASTORS MUST BE ENGAGED.
As I said earlier, there are many pastors and Christians who only know what they have been taught. And what they have been taught is that the Bible does not support the right to resist government, that the right to keep and bear arms is not sacred, and that Christians are supposed to be pacifistic in their approach to issues that relate to the Second Amendment. They are taught this erroneous doctrine in Bible colleges and universities and seminaries all over America–regardless of denomination.
It is for this reason that my constitutional attorney son, Tim, and I wrote a brand new book entitled, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.” This book looks at the right to keep and bear arms strictly from a Biblical perspective. Books outlining the constitutional and historical principles relating to the Second Amendment are plentiful. But I know of NO BOOK written within the last one-hundred years that deals with this subject solely from a Scriptural perspective. That is exactly what our new book does.
Here are some of the questions we answer in our new book:
*Is the right to keep and bear arms a divine right?
*Should Christians surrender their firearms if the law requires them to do so?
*Does the New Testament require Christians to always be non-violent?
*Did the fact that Jesus and the apostles not rise up with arms against tyrannical government mean that Christians today should never do so?
*Were America’s Founding Fathers right or wrong when they rebelled with arms against the British Crown?
These are the questions that Christians everywhere are rightly asking. These are the questions that America’s pastors must be addressing from their pulpits. And these are the questions that Tim and I show the Biblical answers to in our new book.
To order this brand new book, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” go to:
I firmly believe that if enough pastors and Christians would read and digest this book, it would revolutionize the way churches respond to efforts such as Obama’s gun grab. It might even be an instrument that could help preserve liberty in our nation for the next fifty years or more.
We MUST get this book into the hands of as many people as possible. I’m asking readers to help me get the word out about this new book. If everyone reading this column would purchase two of these books, one for themselves and one for a friend, the results could be mind-boggling. I truly believe this book has the potential to change the course of America. Why? Because the pulpits and churches have the potential to change the course of America. And this book has the potential to provide the instruction and inspiration necessary to awaken and energize America’s pastors and churches. Perhaps your pastor or Christian school administrator would even be willing to sell multiple copies of this book in their church or school. There are discount prices for bulk orders. Why not ask him or her?
Again, to purchase this brand new book, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” go to:
President Obama and Vice President Biden are trying to enlist pastors and ministers in their efforts to disarm the American people. I’m asking pastors and ministers and Christians all over America to join “the holy cause of liberty.” (Patrick Henry) And make no mistake about it: without the freedom to keep and bear arms, there is no freedom. And, yes, as our new book shows, that is a Biblical principle.
P.S. Where does your pastor stand? We have asked pastors all over America to be courageous enough to publicly support the right to keep and bear arms from their pulpits. We have asked these men and women to also be willing to add their names to our list of Second Amendment Pastors so freedom-minded people in their cities can see that there are pro-freedom pastors nearby. To see if there is a Second Amendment pastor near you or, as a pastor, to sign up as a Second Amendment pastor, go here:
“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
In “Against the Heathen,” early Church Father Athanasius reveals that pride and haughtiness preceded man’s fall into idolatry and paganism. A haughty spirit led them to make light of higher things, and deliberately disregarding what they knew to be true they began to seek in preference things in the lower or natural dimension. Thus they fell into worship of self, sexual pleasures and acquisition of status and things to the living God and higher things.
The truth as to evil said Athanasius,
“….is that it originates, and resides, in the perverted choice of the darkened soul” which, “materialized by forgetting God” and engrossed in lower things, “makes them into gods,” and thereby “descends into a hopeless depth of delusion and superstition,” whereby ”they ceased to think that anything existed beyond what is seen, or that anything was good save things temporal and bodily; so turning away and forgetting that she was in the image of the good God, she no longer… sees God the Word after whose likeness she is made; but having departed from herself, imagines and feigns what is not (and then) advancing further in evil, they came to celebrate as gods the elements and the principles of which bodies are composed….” (Against the Heathen, New Advent)
Having descended into delusion and superstition they imagined they had no free will and further that “all that exists” is the natural dimension— a divine One Substance, watery abyss, chaos, or void, primordial matter, animated natural powers, forces, and deterministic laws, all of which they celebrated and attributed miraculous powers to. So for example, with the Egyptians’ self-created Sun-God Ra, the divine abyss or One Substance out of which he evolved is Nu–primordial matter:
“I came into being from primordial matter…I made all the forms under which I appeared by means of (or out of) the god-soul which I raised up out of Nu (i.e., the primeval abyss of water.) (The Long War Against God, Dr. Henry Morris, p. 243)
This is naturalism, or materialism, which is the belief that there is neither living God nor heavenly realm. There is only the natural dimension, thus evolutionary materialist Dr. Scott Todd wrote in the science journal ‘Nature:’
“Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.” (Naturalism in the Light of Reality, Robert Gurney, creation.com, June 14, 2012)
Materialism is of the worldview of monism which is held in common by pantheism and spiritualism and dates back to pagan antiquity and was or is taught by all non-biblical thought systems.
Greek Stoics and Epicureans, for example, were materialistic monists and these two schools of natural science and evolution held the ancient world of thought in allegiance well into the Roman Empire. Epicureanism reigns supreme in our own age through modern evolutionary materialism, which is merely revamped and revised Epicureanism.
The pagan philosopher Epicurus (342-270 B.C.) believed in an infinite number of worlds, or parallel universes in the words of contemporary ‘new’ pagan materialists. Like his modern counterparts, Epicurus taught that there was no god or gods, first principles, moral law, souls and afterlife as all things on earth had evolved from the earth material.
Epicurus preferred lower things to higher things, as do his contemporary followers, thus he taught that “all that exists” is an eternally existing void and animated matter. This made human beings, their intelligence and volition, an evolved accident of chance. Reason is left, but reason is active only because sensations (i.e., firing of neurons, chemical interactions) stimulate it.
In modern “scientific” terms, the idea that brute matter spontaneously generated itself from nothing (void) in much the same way as Ra spontaneously generated himself from Nu is called abiogenesis. On the basis of this ancient mythological superstition, new-pagan evolutionary materialists assert that the living supernatural God, souls, spirits, angels, demons, heaven, hell and metaphysics do not exist.
As for ‘modern’ evolutionary theory, anthropologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, longtime director of the American Museum of Natural History reveals that Darwin is not its’ originator but rather ancient pagans are. In the introduction to his history of evolutionism Osborn wrote:
“When I began the search for anticipations of the evolutionary theory….I was led back to the Greek natural philosophers and I was astonished to find how many of the pronounced and basic features of the Darwinian theory were anticipated even as far back as the seventh century B.C.” (Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin, p. xi)
Abiogenesis is such an obvious embarrassment that today some naturalists such as SETI researcher Paul Davies and Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the DNA molecule, have abandoned it in favor of panspermia.
Panspermia is the idea that life on earth was accidentally seeded by meteorites containing the essential building blocks of life or perhaps by highly evolved extraterrestrials who for billions of years have been guiding the evolution of man. The extraterrestrial idea was favored by Arthur C. Clarke in his book, “Childhood’s End” and a variation on this theme has recently been advanced by Davies, Crick, and Ralph Pudritz of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Davies has written seriously about the possibility of “alien bioengineering” that could be detected in the DNA of life on earth and suggests that citizen scientists and school students be enlisted to help search for evidence. (An Alien Code Close to Home: Seeking ET Beyond the Radio Silence, Astrobiology Magazine, Jeremy Hsu, 10/27/2011)
Pudritz theorizes that humans and aliens may share the same DNA which itself could be part of a universal structure “of the first genetic codes anywhere….” (Why Aliens Might Look Like You, Eddie Wren, dailymail.co.uk/ June 11, 2012)
Crick proposes a theory called “directed panspermia,” the idea that,
“…life on earth may have begun when aliens from another planet sent a rocket ship containing spores to seed the earth.”
He admits however that his theory only pushes the unresolvable problem of the origin of life out into deep space:
“This scenario still leaves open the question of who designed the designer [aliens] — how did life originally originate?” (Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, 1981)
The Myth of Extraterrestrials
In his book, “Scientific Mythologies,” James A. Herrick traces the ‘aliens from outer-space’ idea back to certain Renaissance astrologers, occultists, and mystics such as Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) who claimed to not only receive telepathic secrets from spirits but to have visited populated planets during out-of-body experiences.
Swedenborg’s influence is far-reaching. From Kant to the occult theosophist Madame Blavatsky and points in between and on into our own time to psychologist J.B. Rhine, a vast array of science fiction writers (i.e., Clarke, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Steven Spielberg) and numerous evolutionary scientists.
Over time, Swedenborg’s astral plane ‘space travels’ gave birth to what Herrick dubs “The Myth of the Extraterrestrial.” As far back as the seventeenth century science fiction writers were imagining “the intelligent extraterrestrial visitor” and preparing the public to accept their existence. And accept them they have, for the twentieth century has witnessed a veritable population explosion in the alien domain, said Herrick. (p. 43)
In general, science fiction, like new-pagan evolutionary materialism, is neither particularly scientific nor futuristic. It is rather a regression to the mystical pagan origins of modern science that reappeared in the heart of Christendom during the Renaissance. In “The Abolition of Man” (1974) C.S. Lewis points out that the Renaissance reawakened a magical view of the world closely connected with pagan Gnostic sectarianism, Hermetic magic, astrology, Eastern pantheism and alchemical scientism . Accompanying all of this was evolution, occultism, Epicureanism, reincarnation and karma.
Evolution is both the antithesis of creation ex nihilo and the primary doctrine of both Eastern pantheism and Western scientific materialism, and so early on Lewis understood that both movements were merely two sides of the same pagan revival. Thus he argued that pantheism and materialism are not enemies in principle but rather cooperating philosophies united against the supernatural Creator, His Revelation, creation ex nihilo, all higher things, the linear view of history and Christian-based civilization.
What this means is that naturalism, abiogenesis, chance, natural selection, multiple universe and panspermia theories are but six contemporary adaptations of ancient pagan “idolatry, magic, occult mysticism and mythology.” These six are of a whole host of fallacies derived from modern evolutionary thinking that have permeated the post-Christian West and American society giving birth to a “new” pagan religion of evolutionary science.
Fall of Western Civilization
Christendom and Protestant America arose on the wings of the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the Biblical view of man’s sinful condition and God’s Moral Law. Their subsequent fall was traced by Richard Weaver in his book, “Ideas Have Consequences,” (1945). In many ways Weaver’s analysis parallels Athanasius’ account of the fall of man.
Weaver writes that 14th century Western man had made an “evil decision” to abandon his belief in the transcendent God and universals and thus the position that “there is a source of truth higher than, and independent of, man…” The consequences of the rejection of “higher things” were catastrophic:
“The denial of everything transcending experience means inevitably…the denial of truth. With the denial of objective truth there is no escape from the relativism of ‘man is the measure of all things.” (The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, George H. Nash, pp. 32-33)
“Now the soul of mankind, not satisfied with the devising of evil, began by degrees to venture upon what is worse still.” Athanasius
Fueled by a corrupted motive of dominating and bull-dozing the real world so as to coerce other wills, Western apostates conceptually murdered the living God, sealed off the supernatural dimension and elevated Nature to the supreme reality. The doctrine of original sin was abandoned and replaced by the “goodness of man.” With only the material realm of the senses held to be real, supernatural Christianity declined, the omniscient mind of human-gods arose, and pagan materialistic science became the most prestigious way to study man. With knowledge limited to the sensory realm, man’s spiritual attributes—-soul, mind, conscience and volition—were soon lost in an endless cycle of reductionism and determinism. Man, created in the spiritual likeness of his supernatural Creator was lost. In his place stood the soulless human ape, an accidental emergent product of evolution and “earth material.”
Fall of Western Man
From the Renaissance to our own time, a stunning spiritual transformation of consciousness has shifted Western and American thinking away from the supernatural God and biblical religion and toward the lower thing, the new pagan religion of evolution. In his book, “The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Tradition,” James Herrick calls it the “New Religious Synthesis” and briefly outlines seven of its components:
1. History (as well as unchanging truth and moral absolutes) has no spiritual significance. This is because the idea of continuous evolutionary change makes them absurd.
2. The supremacy of omniscient reason, mystical mind-powers, intuition, and collective consciousness.
3. The spiritualization of science. Since the empirical study of the material universe employs reason to acquire knowledge, and reason is not physical but rather spiritual, today it is acknowledged that reason is in fact acquiring spiritual knowledge.
4. Animated nature (animism). The natural dimension is alive with energies, divine spirit, Zoe, god-soul, and consciousness.
5. Gnosis, or esoteric knowledge, the provenance of spiritual elites and extraordinarily gifted individuals, including some scientists.
6. Spiritual evolution. Through control and direction of their own spiritual evolution certain naturally selected humans are destined to realize unimaginable spiritual advances. Spiritual or conscious evolution leap frogs off of Darwin’s’ biological theory and will supposedly lead to actual human divinity.
7. Religious syncretism rooted in common mystical experiences and telepathic revelations from disembodied intelligences. (Herrick, pp. 33-35)
“But in his estate shall (Antichrist) honour the God of forces.” Dan. 11:38
Under the New Religious Synthesis, the animated god-force called evolution is the principle miracle-producing power of the cosmos. Whether by way of abiogenesis or by accidental or directed panspermia, human beings are evolution’s conscious products and can now achieve ever-higher levels of consciousness by directing their own evolution.
In the book, “The Aquarian Conspiracy,” Marilyn Ferguson pointed out that the efficient direction of evolution requires “a mechanism for biological change more powerful than chance mutation” which will open “the possibility of rapid evolution in our time.” (p. 148)
Some evolutionists now claim that this powerful mechanism is presently available to man from aliens who will solve mankind’s problems and conduct man to a new “cosmic” age. Aliens are busily transforming the consciousness of abductees and other Westerners and through them teaching evolution, naturalism and occult New Age philosophy as well as warning of a coming planetary apocalypse and denying the living God, the supernatural dimension and Christian theism.
All of this has led French physicist and UFO researcher Dr. Jacques Vallee to conclude that something is happening to human consciousness that is causing a major shift in man’s belief systems and his relationship to the concept of the invisible. Vallee believes that the same “powerful force’ that influenced the human race in the past is influencing it again:
“…..human belief…is being controlled and conditioned, man’s concepts are being rearranged, and we may be headed toward a massive change of human attitudes toward paranormal abilities and extraterrestrial life.” (Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 109)
In light of this, Vallee proposes the hypothesis that there is a control system,
“… for human consciousness…I am suggesting that what takes place through close encounters with UFOs is control of human beliefs, control of the relationship between our consciousness and physical reality, and that this control has been in force throughout history….” (Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection, Gary Bates, p. 158)
Frank Baumer concurs and observes that evolution has,
“….persuaded people to think of everything in nature as the fruit of a gradual growth rather than an original creation.” The sweeping acceptance of evolutionary thinking means that it is “now difficult if not impossible for an educated man to conceive of a primitive revelation such as traditional Christianity taught, or even of an original natural religion from which men had declined.” This difficulty arises because “in an evolving world, perfection obviously lay, not in the past, but in the future.”(Religion and Rise of Skepticism, p. 147)
In occult terminology, transformation of consciousness is egregore, a concept representing a “thought form” (i.e., Richard Dawkins’ memes) or “collective group mind,” resulting from a psychic entity influencing the thoughts of a group of people. However, egregore derives from the Greek word for “watchers,” leading the French occult magician Eliphas Levi (1810-1875) to identify egregore with the fallen angel ‘fathers’ of the nephilim. In Christian language, transformation of consciousness means “demonic outpouring.’ Vallee’s “powerful force” is a new demonic outpouring being loosed upon mankind.
So complete has the transformation been that the God of forces has successfully inverted the order of creation and reversed the direction of Biblical theism. With creation ex nihilo virtually replaced by evolution, it is now believed that men have not fallen from perfection but instead are gradually evolving upward from their ape beginnings toward greater and greater spiritual perfection. Self-perfecting man no longer needs the living, supernatural God as the idea of “conscious evolution” means he can save himself, and perhaps even attain god-hood.
“The gradual abasement of the Soul from Truth to Falsehood (is) by the abuse of her freedom of Choice.” Athanasius
Two brilliant visionaries foresaw the stunning events we are witnessing today—the wholesale rejection of Truth tied to the fall of Westerners into idolatry and paganism influenced and directed by a demonic outpouring effecting a transformation of consciousness in tandem with the rise of the New Religious Synthesis. Each man in his own way predicted these events would usher in the end of the world and the appearance of the Antichrist. The two visionaries, Vladimir Soloviev (1850-1900), a brilliant Russian philosopher and theologian, and Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914), an English Catholic priest, recorded their predictions in gripping novels—Soloviev in the “A Short Tale of the Antichrist” and Benson in “Lord of the World.”
Benson saw through the scientific pretenses of new-pagan materialism and its’ primary doctrine, evolutionary theory, leading him to describe it and its’ ideological movement Communism as “quiet pantheism.”
Benson predicted that evolutionary thinking would prepare Westerners and Americans not only to embrace the ‘new’ pagan religion but to worship and adore Antichrist, for this human-god (Mr. Felsenburgh) is the first perfected product of nature and evolutionary forces. Mr. Felsenburgh has arisen in America and he is,
“….the first perfect product of that new cosmopolitan creation to which the world has labored throughout its history…” (p 85)
He transfixes men, and they excitedly declare they have seen,
“…the Son of Man,’ the ‘Savior of the world,’ we knew Him in our hearts as soon as we saw Him, as soon as He stood there. It was like a glory around his head (and now we) understand it all… It was He for whom we have waited so long; and He has come, bringing Peace and Goodwill in His hands.” (pp. 85, 89)
Christianity failed, it divided people. But now Jehovah is gone. He never existed at all except as a hideous nightmare. Now at long last man’s natural Savior has arisen:
”The reign of God has really begun (and) we are all partakers of God” because God is in everything, including all men….”Jehovah has fallen. He is in His grave.” In His place is the evolved Son of Man, a god indeed and a man as well…”a god because human and a man because so divine.” (ibid, pp. 93, 95)
Soloviev’s predictions regarding events in our age are astonishing in their prescience, primarily because they not only offer an amazingly accurate glimpse into the mind of the super-man who will become the Antichrist but they also illustrate the real obstacle to salvation, the refusal by proud, willful men to recognize and admit to their sinful condition.
Prior to his transformation, Soloviev describes the proud super- man as outwardly just, but within he is full of pride and is morally reprehensible:
“…. He believes in God but loves nobody but himself. His relationship with Christ was quickly defined as one of superiority (for he will never) bow before Him like the most stupid of Christians (nor) mutter senselessly….’Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me’….’I, the bright genius, the superman! No, never!” (The Wrath of God: The Days of Antichrist, Livio Fanzaga, pp. 39-40)
As the super-mans’ spiritual fall progresses, instead of the former cold rational respect for the living God and Christ:
“…..there was born and grew in his heart, first, a kind of terror, and then a burning, choking and corroding envy and furious breath-taking hatred.” Devoured with envy of Jesus Christ he cries out “He rotted in the tomb, rotted like the lowest…” (ibid, pp. 40-41)
This is the moment the Evil One has been waiting for. He openly approaches the proud super-man and possesses him:
“He saw those piercing eyes and heard…a strange voice, toneless…stifled, and yet clear, metallic and absolutely soulless as though coming from a phonograph.” Satan pours out his spirit, saying, “I ask nothing of you, and I will help you for your own sake…Receive my spirit…it gives birth to you in power. At these words…the superman’s lips opened of themselves, two piercing eyes came quite close to his face, and he felt a sharp, frozen stream enter into him and fill his whole being. And at the same time he was conscious of a wonderful strength, energy, lightness and rapture.” (p. 43)
Soloviev masterfully portrays a striking contrast between the apostles of Christ and the Antichrist. The former receive the power of the living God and are full of wisdom, truth, and courage while the latter receives the power of the devil and is full of nihilistic pride, lies, burning envy, murderous hate, blasphemy, cursing, resentment, deception, covetousness, and perversion.
The Antichrist, as described by Soloviev, suffers the same massively inflated pride and envy that transformed Lucifer into the devil. This same pride and envy animated the pantheist sorcerer Hegel, the neo-pagan Masonic Illuminati who planned and instigated the bloody French Revolution, as well as Karl Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, the West’s “God is dead” theologians, America’s Ruling Class, and many contemporary New World Order globalists.
The “New” Pagan Religion of Darkened Souls
“….human history can now be hesitantly traced back as an unbroken narrative to 4000 B.C. The facts must not, however, be twisted to suit the fallacy of necessary human progress. For the picture emerging….is one of the Fall of Man in historic terms as well as his rise; it is a picture …more of degradation than of success; it is a picture of monotheism breaking down into polytheism and of the struggle to return to monotheism. The establishment view of the history of religion gradually progressing from animism to polytheism, from polytheism to monotheism is the reverse of facts.” (The God-Kings and the Titans: The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times, James Baily, 1973, p. 296)
Evolution is a religion, said Michael Ruse. From the beginning it was a religion and this is true of evolution today. (Michael Ruse, former professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada, “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct?” National Post, pp. B1, B3, B7, May 13, 2000)
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. From the beginning this was true, and in these last days it is still true. Pride, haughtiness and envy are the common bonds linking Satan, the Antichrist, idolatry, paganism, the Religion of Evolution and all who have been and are being spiritually transformed by it. Thus when the Antichrist arrives, perhaps as a highly evolved extraterrestrial or as the Transcended Master Maitreya, all darkened souls will perversely celebrate him as the highly evolved god and man they foolishly believe they too will become.
With the Easter message fresh on my mind, I am again reminded of what the Jewish leaders said to Pilate when they tried to coerce him to crucify Jesus. They said, “We have no king but Caesar.” Remember, these were the Jewish Pharisees, scribes, elders, priests, and high priests. They prided themselves in being scholars of the Torah. They believed themselves to be the sole interpreters of the Mosaic Law. Yet, the very First Commandment of the Decalogue handed down to Moses is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” But in order to stay in the good graces of the Roman government, they emphatically proclaimed that they recognized no king but Caesar.
Remember, Caesar insisted that everyone recognize him to be, not only king, but God. To be loyal to Rome, one had to acknowledge the deity of Caesar. One could worship any other god that one wanted to, as long as Caesar was acknowledged as Sovereign. Historians famously say that there were as many gods in Rome as people. Rome prided itself in being religiously pluralistic and tolerant. First Century Christians were not persecuted because they worshipped Jesus; they were persecuted because they refused to worship Caesar; they refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of Caesar. It was for this reason that early Christians were fed to lions and made sport of in the amphitheaters.
In their desire to use the Roman government to advance their own agenda (crucifying Christ and later His disciples and apostles), the Jewish leaders were quite willing to acknowledge the deity and sovereignty of Caesar–even though doing so was a blatant violation of the First Commandment given by Jehovah to Moses. Is it a little more than interesting that after conducting a secret, illegal trial of Jesus and blaspheming God in declaring Caesar king that they immediately afterward sat down to observe the Passover? No wonder Jesus called them “Hypocrites.”
“What does all of this have to do with modern America?” you ask. Everything!
Anytime a pastor or church uses Romans 13 to teach that Christians should submit to government “no matter what,” they are joining the First Century Jewish leaders in saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” Wittingly or unwittingly, they have made a god out of government. And by doing so, they have violated the First Commandment and blasphemed the God they claim to serve. They are like the Jewish leaders who declared unlimited submission to Caesar then sat down to observe the Passover. These modern pastors and church leaders do the same thing: they declare unlimited submission to government and then go through the exercise of conducting a Christian worship service, complete with songs of praise, recitations of scripture, and collecting tithes and offerings. Are they not as guilty of blasphemy and hypocrisy as were the First Century Jewish leaders?
Another statement that leaped out at me as I rehearsed the Easter story last Sunday was spoken by the Lord Jesus. When questioned by Pilate, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36 KJV)
How many times have I heard some We-have-no-king-but-Caesar-
Yet, the vast majority of these same Christian leaders who say “don’t resist government” are the first ones to lead the cheer for foreign wars of aggression. They are the loudest and most vocal supporters of military action against governments all over the world. They proudly extol and laud acts of war by our nation’s military. They brag about the young men of their churches joining the military and going off to war. And just what is it that military troops do? They commit acts of violence and resistance against foreign governments.
Am I a pacifist? Am I promoting pacifism? Absolutely not! I am a staunch believer in the Natural, God-given right of self-defense. I believe men have an inalienable right to resist and fight against evil government–even if it sometimes means using violence–such as when America’s founders fought our country’s War for Independence. I’m merely trying to point out the hypocrisy of these modern-day preachers and Christians who try to justify their own refusal to even peacefully resist evil government at home but who then turn around and blatantly justify violent acts of resistance against government overseas.
At least the conscientious pacifist is consistent. A true pacifist would refuse to resist any and all government–regardless of how evil that government is. Of course, this would require that such people refuse to join the military, refuse to become a policeman or sheriff’s deputy, and refuse to defend themselves against any act of criminality committed against them or their family. I have known a small handful of such people. And I always encourage them to pray for those of us in America who are not pacifists–and who believe in defending the liberties of all Americans–so that they will have the freedom to practice their pacifism.
And interestingly enough, as the federal government in Washington, D.C., becomes more and more oppressive, more and more Christian leaders are preaching the doctrine of nonresistance. And when they do, they almost always justify themselves by using Jesus’ words referenced above.
However, Jesus’ words actually teach the opposite of nonresistance. Notice He said, “Then would my servants FIGHT.” That Jesus refused to resist His arrest and crucifixion is not to be construed as Him teaching nonresistance as a duty for Christians of all time.
Remember that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son who came to give His life a sacrifice for man’s sin. No other man, before or since, shares Christ’s nature, character, and mission. There is ONE mediator between God and men: the man Christ Jesus. He was born to die; He came to be crucified. No man took His life from Him: He gave it. None of us can claim such a mission or destiny. None of us!
We Christians might not be “of” this world, but we are most certainly “in” it. And Jesus prayed to keep us “in” this world. (John 17:15) We go to work in this world; we pay our bills in this world; we lock our doors at night in this world; we instruct our children to avoid certain locations and situations in this world; we sit on juries in this world; our taxes support policemen and sheriff’s deputies who arrest criminals and protect society in this world; we join “neighborhood watch” groups in this world; and we install burglar alarms in this world. Jesus did none of that. He didn’t even own a home. Are all of these pious-talking non-resistors going to give up their homes and properties because Jesus didn’t own any? Jesus didn’t marry either. So, should Christians not marry because Jesus didn’t? Again, Jesus’ life and mission were unique; no Christian can claim such a duty or purpose.
Furthermore, Jesus plainly instructed His disciples to buy a sword (Luke 22:36). The Roman sword was the most effective and efficient self-defense tool in the world at the time. The Roman sword was the First Century equivalent of the modern-day AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Realize, too, that when Jesus uttered this command, it was against the law for Hebrews to possess a sword of this type. Yes, Jesus commanded His disciples to break the law of man in order to obey the higher Natural Law of God. So much for the argument that Jesus would endorse Obama’s universal background check proposal.
For Franklin Graham and Richard Land–and other evangelical leaders–to support Barack Obama’s attempt to register and restrict the arms of the American people, is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it is blatantly unscriptural. Here is my column regarding the asinine support of universal background checks by Graham and Land:
Recall, too, that at the time of His arrest in the garden, Jesus protected Simon Peter’s right to keep and bear arms when He literally knocked the soldiers off their feet with the power of His voice, which allowed Simon and the other armed disciple to leave the garden unmolested and fully armed. Yes, Jesus fully protected the disciples’ right to keep and bear arms in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Readers should also be aware that my new book, co-authored by my constitutional attorney son, Tim, entitled, “To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” is at the printers now and will be delivered in the next few weeks. To pre-order this very relevant and powerful book, go to:
Remember, too, that it was Jesus who violently resisted the money changers in the temple, driving them out with the force of whip and fist. This is hardly an act of nonresistance. And it is this same Jesus who will come again in power and glory subduing His enemies with the violence and force of the sword.
Furthermore, if Christ is divine (and all true Christians believe He is), Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament are One. There is absolutely no doubt that Jehovah approved of, authorized, and directly ordered the use of violent resistance against myriads of oppressors, dictators, and despots of all kinds. To preach the doctrine of nonresistance, one must ignore the entire Old Testament, not to mention a host of New Testament passages–including Hebrews 11.
At some point, every person on earth has to determine in his or her own mind who is king. Is Christ king, or is Caesar king? This is the spiritual battle that is raging in America’s churches today. And, unfortunately, as did the Jewish leaders at the crucifixion of Jesus, many pastors and church leaders are saying, “We have no king but Caesar.”
As for me and my house, we cast our lots with America’s founders whose battle cry of the Revolutionary War was “No King but Jesus.”
Christian, make up your mind.
Most of us are taught from childhood to respect and obey the law. On the whole, Americans are law-abiding people. This is only fitting for a nation that was built on the principles of law. Remember, at our core, this is supposed to be a “nation of laws, not men.” This is one reason that our Founding Fathers bequeathed us a republic and not a democracy.
Unfortunately, it has been over one hundred years since America’s teachers (both secular and sacred) have taught the principles of Natural Law. This has created a vast ignorance that has blinded people (especially Christian people it seems) from being able to properly understand, evaluate, and judge the law.
Our Lord plainly said, “The Sabbath (law) was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath (law).” (Mark 2:27 KJV) This was stated in response to the criticism and judgmentalism of the Pharisees against Jesus and His disciples, who had picked and eaten corn on the Sabbath Day.
During that same discussion, Jesus reminded the Pharisees that David and his men ate bread from the Table of Shewbread in the Temple, which was a violation of the Mosaic Law. (Others had been slain by Jehovah for a careless, cavalier attitude toward the Sabbath and the Temple.) He reminded them of the priests who sacrificed animals on the Sabbath Day, which was considered by many to be a violation of Sabbath law. Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, which the Pharisees and legalists of the time judged to be unlawful.
After a blistering condemnation of the Pharisees, Jesus asked them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life or destroy it?” (Luke 6:9 KJV) In other words, which was more important: doing good and saving life on the Sabbath, or strictly obeying the Law of the Sabbath and letting a man be harmed or even die?
Jesus made it clear that there are greater laws and lesser laws, that the Natural Law of saving life was a superior law to even the Law of the Sabbath. This law of nature can be called “The Law of Necessity.”
In the pursuit of liberty, and in the defense of life, David and his men sustained themselves with the bread from the Table of Shewbread. And not only did Jehovah not slay David and his men for doing this, the Lord Jesus praised them as an example of the greater law principle.
Here’s a question for you: as you walk along a lake, you notice a sign announcing a public statute that says, “No Swimming.” About that same time, you hear the screams of a little boy who had wandered in the lake and is now drowning. Do you obey the State statute that said, “No Swimming,” or do you violate the public law and swim out into the lake to save the little boy?
The Pharisees would say that you must obey the public law even if it means the little boy will drown. Jesus said the natural greater law principle prevails and you ignore the lesser law and go save the drowning lad. The greater law always defers to the provision and protection of human life. The lesser law ignores the divine principle of protecting life and demands unconditional compliance to human law–even if that law results in the death of innocent life.
Now, here is another question: would any of us condemn a man who ignored the law that said “No Swimming,” and swam into the lake to save the little boy? Think very carefully before you answer, because all over America, many people (including pastors and Christians) have developed a legalistic, Pharisaical philosophy regarding law that would indeed condemn the man who ignored the law that said “No Swimming,” and swam into the lake to save the little boy.
For example, all over America, certain states and local communities have enacted strict gun-control laws that would condemn a man for using a firearm in the defense of his home and family. There is more than one person sitting in jail today who was deemed a lawbreaker for doing just that. And now, there are legislators, senators, and a President and Vice President in Washington, D.C, who want to further deny everyone in America the right to self-defense by banning semi-automatic rifles.
Make no mistake about it: the semi-automatic rifle is the premier self-defense tool in the modern world. It is effective against the would-be felon, and even more effective against the would-be tyrant. To enact laws against the ownership and possession of semi-automatic rifles (yes, with large capacity magazines) is tantamount to condemning a man for ignoring the “No Swimming” ordinance in order to save the drowning boy. Plainly put: SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES SAVE LIVES–INCLUDING SAVING THE LIFE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.
It is at this point that we must point out the jaded philosophy and understanding that so many Americans (especially Christians) have regarding law. So many people seem to be completely ignorant of the natural principle of the greater law, or The Law of Necessity.
When governments pass laws that infringe upon people’s natural right to self-defense, they have become tyrannical; and no one who understands the divine principle of The Law of Necessity is morally obligated to submit to such laws–no more than a man would submit to the “No Swimming” law that would let the little boy drown.
Beyond that, pastors who teach that Christians must submit to these lesser laws in order to please God are no better than the Pharisees of old. Jesus detested the Pharisees’ asinine interpretation of Biblical law and plainly told them so. Likewise, no Christian should tolerate for one minute any pastor or religious teacher who would demand that they submit to any lesser law that infringed upon the greater law of the protection and preservation of life. Not for one minute!
The “higher powers” of Romans 13 do not constitute the “highest” power. All the laws of men are subject to the greater laws of God: the natural laws that were innately given to man at creation. Think about it: if the Law of the Sabbath, a law that was instituted by God, Himself, was inferior to the greater Law of Necessity–the natural law protecting and preserving life–how much more inferior is any law made by man?! To suggest that the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13, was demanding that Christians submit to every man-made law, no matter how contrary it ran to the divine Law of Necessity borders on blasphemy. And the pastors who teach such an absurdity are nothing more than modern-day Pharisees.
As the Pharisees would rather see a man crippled, or even die, than be healed on the Sabbath, so these modern-day Pharisees demand that people submit to laws that infringe on their natural right of self-defense, even if that means that people die as a result.
And remember, according to experts, firearms (including semi-automatic rifles) protect life and avert a crime (including murder) more than 2.5 million times a year. That’s over 6,800 times A DAY. Take away the right to keep and bear arms (including semi-automatic rifles) and those are lives that will be seriously injured or killed.
See this report:
It’s time pastors and Christians understand that breaking a lesser law in order to keep a greater law is no crime–and no sin! Benjamin Franklin may not have been a Biblical scholar, but he demonstrated a greater knowledge and appreciation for The Law of Necessity than most pastors in America today. He said, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” And he was exactly right.
Abram obeyed the greater law when he pursued and “slaughtered” (Hebrews 7:1) the kings who had attacked his family and took his nephew Lot prisoner. That is found in Genesis 14. It is no coincidence that he received the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15. Moses obeyed the greater law when he killed the Egyptian taskmaster in defense of his fellow Hebrew. The New Testament says, “For he [Moses] supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.” (Acts 7:24, 25)
Moses’ fellow Hebrews were so steeped in bondage, they “understood not” Moses’ actions and actually joined with the Egyptians in condemning him as a lawbreaker. As a result, they spent an additional forty years in slavery. And ladies and gentlemen, if America’s pastors and Christians do not snap out of their spirit of legalism and bondage, this country is also headed for slavery.
Unfortunately, many pastors and churches would condemn those of us who refuse to submit to these unjust, tyrannical laws that would require us to surrender our semi-automatic rifles. They would call us lawbreakers. So what? As Jesus accepted not the condemnation of the Pharisees, you and I should not accept the condemnation of these modern-day legalists.
It is never wrong to obey the greater law; and it is never right to obey the lesser law that contradicts the greater law! And it doesn’t matter to a tinker’s dam what the legalists and Pharisees think about it! Simon Peter and the apostles employed the same understanding when they said, “We must obey God rather than men.”
When it comes to disobeying a State law that says “No Swimming” in order to preserve the life of a drowning boy, or when it comes to disobeying a federal law that says “surrender your semi-automatic rifles” in order to preserve the lives of our loved ones, not to mention our communities and our freedoms, we, too, must obey God rather than men.
Of course, we Americans respect the laws of men, but only when these lesser laws do not contradict or infringe upon the greater law. This was commonly understood from Abraham and Moses to Christ and the apostles. It was certainly understood by America’s Founding Fathers. And it had better be understood by each of us now!
Does it recommend an assault rifle or a shotgun?”
He was kidding, of course, but not so funny are some recent attempts by liberal “Christians” to turn Jesus into Sarah Brady. Motivated by their unique brand of religiosity in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, they say that the Lord would never condone gun ownership. Why, didn’t He state, “[A]ll that take the sword shall perish with the sword”?
Were I to steal a leaf out of the liberals’ book, I’d now become conveniently literalistic and say that if anyone wants to consider sword control, I’m game. But let’s address the matter seriously.
When the temple guards of the Sanhedrin came to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, the apostle Simon Peter leapt to the Lord’s defense, drew his sword, and sliced off the ear of a slave accompanying the guards. This is where the quoted Bible passage comes into play. The gospel of Matthew (26:52) tells us that Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Quite a pacifist message, huh?
Yet there’s something generally overlooked here. Peter only had a sword to draw because he had one on his person — and Jesus obviously took no issue with this. In fact, even during Jesus’ rebuke, He never told Peter to throw his sword away. The command was simply to resheath it.
Why? Perhaps because Jesus had actually ordered the apostles to acquire swords. As Luke 23:36-38 tells us:
“But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: ‘And with the wicked was he reckoned.’ For the things concerning me have an end.” But they said: “Lord, behold here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
So what is the actual meaning of Jesus’ words in Matthew? I won’t say anything definitively, but I will note that the relevant line has often been interpreted to mean “He who lives by the sword shall die by it also.” And, of course, there’s as big a difference between legitimate self-defense and living by the gun as there is between respecting the state’s legitimate role and living by government.
So what would Jesus shoot? Nothing, I’m sure. He wouldn’t get married, either; His role wasn’t exactly the same as ours. But I’m also sure that a clear understanding of Christianity shoots the liberal arguments right out of the sky.
(Hat tip: the readers who emailed me the Luke reference.)
During the 2012 election, the New Religious Right (NRR) held prayer vigils all throughout the United States. Their rallying cry: “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
There is nothing wrong with Christians gathering together to pray for a common cause. There is nothing wrong with asking God to return our country to biblical principles for the simple reason that those of us who profess Christ believe that there’s something diabolical going on, and our country is in the grip of evil. The way we see it, spiritual forces of wickedness have invaded virtually every aspect of society. And this reality is what drives us to our knees to plead with God to intervene on our behalf. As the election drew close, we appealed to the Creator to spare us from an administration that aims to transform America into a socialist utopia.
Even though large groups of conservatives from many religious systems joined together and prayed their brains out, God did not spare America.
What struck me as odd is that many professing Christians met in large groups to pray with people that reject the God of the Bible even knowing that those from other religious faiths do not pray to the God of Christianity. So the purpose for praying with unbelievers is….?
Now consider this. The Bible teaches that anyone who is not born again is not indwelled by the Holy Spirit. I tackled this subject in “Are you praying to the only true God”:
Scripture speaks of God the Holy Spirit residing within all who believe in the Son of God. The Spirit guides, instructs and empowers believers. (John 14:16-17) As well, the “Spirit of truth” confirms everything about Jesus. (John 15:26) The unregenerate (unsaved) person is not Spirit filled. God does not hear anyone’s prayer unless it is put into words by the Holy Spirit. So if we want our prayers to be heard and answered we must pray to the right God. (Source)
Paul drives home the point in 1 Timothy 2:5:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
As mediator, Jesus Christ stands between God and men to reconcile man to God. According to Scripture, God does not hear the prayers of the unrepentant sinner. “Sin had made a quarrel between us and God; Jesus Christ is the Mediator who makes peace.”
Returning to the election, Albert Mohler believes it was a “catastrophe” and a “disaster” for evangelicals. He said in a New York Times interview:
It’s not that our message—we think abortion is wrong, we think same-sex marriage is wrong—didn’t get out. It did get out. It’s that the entire moral landscape has changed. An increasingly secularized America understands our positions, and has rejected them.
Perhaps the NRR leaders should put their priorities in order and do what the Bible commands. First and foremost followers of Jesus Christ must share the Good News of the Gospel with the lost. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Mark 16:15) We may defeat the evils of our day through political means and we may change laws. But unless man’s sinful heart is changed, evil will persist.
We must also oppose the evolutionary secularist worldview. Many pro-family groups have been in the trenches for decades, fighting to “take back America for God.” It has been an up-hill battle — and expensive to boot. But let’s be honest; in spite of all our efforts and the money we’ve poured into winning the culture war, liberals are winning!
After months of pleading with God to oust Obama, we’re now asking, “Why did God allow his re-election?”
In a word: Judgment.
So with that in mind, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “Why is God judging America?”
Again, in a word: Sin.
When I was a child and disobeyed my parents I got a spanking. But before the boom was lowered I’d cry out, “Don’t spank me! I’ll be good, I promise!” All the pleading in the world did not work with my parents. They’d give me a licking because I deserved one.
Well, America is getting a licking because we deserve one. It would seem that God has closed his ears to our pleas and stale promises. We the Peeps have not repented of our sins and turned from our wicked ways. In fact, most Americans could care less what God thinks of their lascivious behavior. So for now, at least, God will allow us to continue wallowing in filth.
I believe one of the reasons God has turned us over to a reprobate mind, to do what should not be done (Rom. 1:28) is that, like the world, the visible Church is awash in sin. A whole host of self-professed Christians are deep in sin simply because they have no clear understanding of what God deems sinful — and they have no desire to find out!
Satan uses syncretism to separate God from His people. Religious syncretism is the blending of differing systems of belief. “Syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture.” Syncretism in Protestantism occurred when elements of other religious beliefs were integrated into mainstream denominations. So, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is blending historic Christianity with other philosophies! Listen to Deuteronomy 12:29-31:
When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
The LORD was not kidding around.
Syncretism slithered into the Church through liberalism. But well intended evangelical conservatives who make up a large part of pro-family groups are also responsible. In their desperation to “bring America back to God” groups such as the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Americans for Working Families, Wall Builders, Traditional Values Coalition, Liberty Council and Concerned Women for America reached out to a slew of controversial Christians (false teachers), including men and women in theological cults! And they’re routinely invited to participate in spiritual and political endeavors — even prayer rallies!
Over the years religious renegades have shared the platform with GOP candidates, congressmen, entertainers, heads of pro-family groups, and other conservative superstars. Now, I’m not saying that people on stage with renegades share their beliefs; what I’m saying is that when highly regarded leaders unite with heretics and cultists, the public sees it as an endorsement!
“If the New Religious Right were truly committed first and foremost to sound biblical theology and doctrine,” says Brannon Howse, “they would not be involved in spiritual enterprises with those who participate in the New Age Movement, the New Apostolic Reformation, ecumenicalism, globalism, communitarianism, the Church of Rome, the Word of Faith movement, social justice, and the social gospel.”
As Brannon rightly pointed out, the Word of Faith movement is not committed to sound biblical doctrine. What they teach is heretical!
Here CRI exposes word-faith teaching:
God created man in “God’s class,” as “little gods,” with the potential to exercise what they refer to as the “God-kind of faith” in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. Of course, we forfeited this opportunity by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature), went to hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be what they call “little gods.” Since we’re called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in virtually every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is even taught by the faith teachers) to be left by one’s spouse, simply means that you don’t have enough faith — or you have some secret sin in your life, because if you didn’t, you would be able to handle all of these problems.
In every instance, the “Word-Faith” teaching is guilty of presenting an inflated view of man and a deflated view of God, thereby compromising God’s message as revealed in the Bible. This fast-growing movement has disastrous implications and, in fact, reduces Jesus Christ to a means to an end — when in fact he is the end. If the New Age Movement is the greatest threat to the church from without, “positive confession” may well be its greatest threat from within. (Online source)
Another movement mentioned by Brannon Howse is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The NAR, aka dominionists, hold that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. The leaders fancy themselves modern-day apostles and prophets and believe they have the same gifts as the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament apostles. In a piece I wrote entitled “Dominionists are on the move…and they mean business” I brought to light some of their unbiblical beliefs:
The NAR/dominionist’s goal is to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth. How? By controlling various aspects of society. The term they use is the “Seven Mountains,” or “Seven Spheres” of society. The Seven Mountains are: 1) Arts and Entertainment; 2) Business/Economy; 3) Education; 4) Family; 5) Government; 6) Media; 7) Religion. The NAR holds that as they accomplish ridding the world of evil, things will get better and better and then Jesus Christ will return to set up His kingdom.
The goals of the CR [Christian Right] and the NAR seem like a good idea, right? I mean, who could argue with wanting to influence the seven spheres of society that are dominated by secular humanists. Christians are not wrong in desiring to have a society based on Judeo-Christian principles. But here’s the problem. This “mandate” the NAR mob subscribes to did not come from the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 18:36 Jesus made it clear: “My kingdom is not of this world.”
However, dominionists never let a little thing like what Jesus said get in the way of their lofty goals. One of the most troubling aspects of their “theology” is the unbiblical teaching on spiritual warfare. They believe they have a kingdom mandate to do “strategic-level spiritual warfare” which is “a popular charismatic method of casting out demons from geographical locations or territories. It identifies three levels of demonic control on earth. Firstly, are “Ground-Level” demons, which possess people. Secondly, “Occult-Level” demons empower witches, shamans, magicians. Finally, “Strategic-Level” demons which are the most powerful of the three, are said to rule over certain regions or territories. Their main purpose is to hinder people from coming to Christ.”
Hence, dominionists go hither and yon to do strategic-level spiritual warfare to tear down demonic strongholds established by Satan and his demons. This is not local; it’s global. (Source)
The fact of the matter is that the word-faith/positive confession movement and the NAR have many of the same heretical beliefs. In Matthew 7:15-17, Jesus warned:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. … Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
In Ephesians 5:11 Paul tells us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” We are not only to expose them, we are to call them what they are – evil! We have many examples in the Bible of name calling. For example, in Matthew 23 Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and “whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones.” He called these same men serpents and a brood of vipers, looked them squarely in the face and said, “how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”
But instead of exposing unfruitful works of darkness as we are commanded to do, New Religious Right leaders, many of whom profess Christ, organize prayer events with them!
So – did God hear those prayers? Consider who He hears according to Scripture and draw your own conclusion.
New Apostolic Reformation articles—On Solid Rock Resources
Televangelists & Word of Faith Movement—On Solid Rock Resources
Are you praying to the only true God? By Marsha West
Liberals created the culture of evil and death, part 2 By Marsha West
How the Religious Right Assisted in the Re-Election of President Obama And Are Hastening God’s Judgment of America By Brannon Howse
Is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it? Should a believer make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? Must a Christian avoid making a decision until he or she has a “peace about it”? What about waiting for a “sign” from God? Is it okay for a Christian to consult a psychic or a Ouija board to seek God’s guidance?
A married couple, John and Tina, is faced with a dilemma. They would like to move to Colorado to be closer to John’s family. They’ve been praying about it, asking God to show them His will. Their decision must be made before the end of the week, yet they’re still not sure what God wants them to do — should they stay or should they go?
Naturally John and Tina are confused and frustrated. John is leaning toward moving because he knows it will be good for the kids to live close to their grandparents. He’s even getting excited about it. Not Tina! She wants to wait for a “confirmation,” from God before they pull up stakes and move half way across the country.
John and Tina are in the proverbial pickle.
Many Christians talk about finding God’s will as though it were some deep dark secret, hidden away in the pages of Scripture. Maybe God doesn’t want us to find it.
Where does the Bible teach that God tries to hide His will from us?
Tina and John believe their heavenly Father loves them, yet they’ve decided that He’s hiding His will from them. Maybe God likes playing hide and seek.
Most good parents want what’s best for their children, right? So does it make sense that God would want to hide His will from those He loves? If Tina and John really believe He’s a loving Father, why are they clinging to the ridiculous notion that He wants to keep them in the dark?
If you search the New Testament you’ll find no explicit command to “Find God’s will.” Read through the book of Acts and you’ll see what I mean. The Apostles were given no clear instructions on how they were to discern God’s will. No prayer ritual. No magic formulas. Nothing!
Christians shouldn’t waste their time searching for a magic formula that will cause the Almighty to reveal His will. Since God forbids pagan divination, dabbling in the magic arts is risky business. Yet professed Christians are using eastern meditative techniques hoping to gain secret information that God has not chosen to reveal. Followers of Jesus Christ should never seek supernatural powers. God has determined the means by which we come to Him in prayer–and He set certain boundaries! Try to imagine, if you will, Christians determining the boundaries for themselves. There would be no limits whatsoever!
Some Christians push the limits to the brink. Mystics like Brennan Manning and Richard Foster believe God can be found within through achieving an altered state of consciousness. Individuals involved in contemplative prayer commune with God through meditation and yoga. By using these techniques they’re able to reach stillness, thus opening themselves to new experiences within, and receiving illumination. Gary Gilley offers this insight into what Christian mystics believe:
“[T]he mystic has no confidence in human knowledge accessible through normal means such as the propositional revelation of God (Scripture). If we are to know God, it must come from a mystical union with Him that transcends the rational thought process or even normal sensory experience. This takes place through following the three stages of purgation, illumination and union; implementing the spiritual disciplines and most importantly, practicing contemplative prayer.” (Source)
Contemplatives admit that the means they use to commune with God can be dangerous as it invites demon oppression. And for those who are not Christians, it invites demon possession! In Acts 8 we learn that Simon (the sorcerer) Magus was severely rebuked by Peter for seeking supernatural powers. Christ himself criticized the “perverse generation” that always asks for a sign from God.
Looking for signs through coincidences, or flipping through the Bible and placing a finger on a verse, or relying on the first thought to enter your mind after a prayer, are forms of Christian divination.
In order for Christians to mature in their faith they must read and study Scripture, meditate on it (this does not mean eastern meditation), then put its principles into practice. We must put our Bibles before all the other books we’re reading. It’s the only book that has God’s direct message to His people.
“I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word — Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law–Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors — I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws…Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:16-35 KJV).
An important aspect of reading the Bible is knowing how to interpret Scripture correctly. Paul said to Timothy, “[T]he things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. … 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2 & 15). We must seek accurate interpretations–and correctly handle the word of truth! That way we will not only know what the words say, but the intended meaning of the words. Christian apologist Greg Koukl makes this point: “Private interpretations do not yield accurate meaning–there is a particular truth–a determinate meaning–God intends to convey. Individual, personalized interpretations that distort this meaning only bring danger.”
Stay out of the danger zone! Applying esoteric meanings to Scripture is irresponsible. Anyone who distorts God’s Word does so “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
I haven’t forgotten about John and Tina. Why haven’t they received an answer from God on the Colorado question? A simple yes or no will do. They’re not expecting God to appear to them in a burning bush or through thunder and lightning as He did with Saul. Why the silence?
We may think God intends to reveal His plan — but what if He chooses not to? What if He has no intention of sharing His plan with us? Part of God’s plan for Job’s life was to allow ghastly things to happen to him. What if Job had known in advance about the losses he would suffer, the pain he would have to endure? The man would never have left his tent! God’s plan for Job was that he should suffer more than any man. God never told Job about His plan. And he never found out why he was made to suffer.
God still speaks to us today–but not through a burning bush! He speaks to us through the pages of Scripture. If we read and study the Bible what we’ll discover is that His will for us is not hidden. In fact, it’s crystal clear. So why do so many believers agonize over it? I’ll answer this burning question (pun intended) in a moment. But first, is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it? Should a Christian (a) make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? (b) avoid making a decision until he or she has a “peace about it”? (c) wait for a “sign” from God? (d) consult a psychic or a Ouija board to seek God’s guidance?
Pastor and Bible expositor John MacArthur reminds us that:
“The will of God is not meant to be a secret we must uncover. God wants us to understand His will far more than we want to understand it. He always makes His will clear to those who seek it with an obedient heart. Most of the real problem areas in the question of God’s will are settled for us in Scripture.”
What does Scripture tell us about seeking God’s will for our lives? According to noted Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke:
“There are no examples of explicitly seeking or finding God’s will after Acts 1:24-26, in which the disciples drew lots to select Matthias as a replacement for Judas. There are dreams, visions, and revelations after this, but never in the context of explicitly seeking God’s will. From this point onward it is not divination (seeking to probe the divine mind) but revelation given by God to His people. After Pentecost there is no instance of the church seeking God’s will through any of the forms of divination? The problem of using divination today is that the techniques Christians use, like promise boxes and seeking signs are not examples offered to those living under the New Covenant. So when a believer is told to “not take a job until you have God’s mind,” I think he may be led astray. His faulty logic and faulty exegesis cause him to believe in divination, but there is no such biblical example to follow for Christians.” (Source: Knowing the Will of God By Bruce Waltke, with Jerry MacGregor Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR.)
Nowhere in the New Testament does God tell His followers to “seek his will.” Christians are commanded to seek His kingdom and do His will.
The means God used to reveal His will before Pentecost is not normative for the church today. According to Waltke, “God does not administer His church in the same way He administered old Israel. He administered old Israel by the Mosaic Law, but we are no longer administered by that law. He administers us by the Spirit, not the Law, and this changed at Pentecost.”
God operates differently today because we are under grace, not under the Law. (Romans 6:14). Born again Christians are controlled by the Spirit of God. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we know how to tell right from wrong. Hebrews 8:10 says, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.”
God speaks to us through the pages of Scripture. “For all our talk about sola Scriptura,” says Greg Koukl, “many also hold that God speaks to them on a regular basis giving true information about Himself and specific directions for their lives. Their claim is, essentially, ‘I believe the Bible is a bona fide source of information and the Spirit also gives private information directly to me.’ The second step frequently follows the first: The personal, subjective sense of what a person thinks God is telling him trumps the objective Scripture.”
Koukl makes an important point. Should what we hear in our mind take precedence over what Scripture says? Christians will often toss out the phrase, “God told me” that they should do this or that. Or “I felt led,” or “I sensed that God wanted me to___” You fill in the blank. Televangelists, who pretend to have a direct pipeline to God, prance around in front of the TV camera, claiming to hear a “word from the Lord.” At the risk of sounding divisive, most televangelists teach outright heresy (I can prove it), so why would God speak to them at all? Frauds should not expect to hear from God; they should expect to be rebuked by God. But I digress.
Now for an example of divining God’s will. Loretta wanted to change jobs so she prayed for guidance. When God didn’t answer immediately she experienced doubts and anxiety. Maybe she should stay at her current job. After being in limbo for a week, someone mentioned a company that was hiring and thought Loretta would be the perfect candidate. A sign from God, perhaps? Loretta applied and landed an interview. The interview went well and she knew it would be a good fit. Loretta really wanted the job, yet she felt uncertain about accepting it, as she still hadn’t heard from God. Frustrated, Loretta decided to lay out a fleece. If the company offered her the job, with a raise in salary to boot, she’d know for certain it was God’s will. Eventually the company extended an offer, which included an increase in salary–and a private office! There was no doubt in her mind that God had spoken. The fact that she had gotten everything she prayed about–and more–was the confirmation she was waiting for. Loretta also felt a peace about it.
Loretta believed she had received a confirmation from God, and she felt a peace about it, yet in the end she turned down the job. The reason? The 30-minute commute didn’t appeal to her. Does Loretta’s decision mean she’s out of God’s will? Was Loretta ever in God’s will? It’s obvious that Loretta’s a very confused individual.
I used the job illustration to show the lack of maturity in the Church. Loretta’s behavior is not uncommon–it’s become the norm! How is it that God’s people will blithely cast Truth aside and pursue occult techniques to find the Father’s will–or to have a—“deeper experience” with Him? “The customs of the people are worthless,” warned the prophet Jeremiah. Worthless? Wow. With this in mind, why are professed Christians immersing themselves in cultural customs and cleverly crafted gimmicks and paying no heed to Scripture? Perhaps these “Christians” have a said faith, and not a real faith. Truth hurts.
Today important life decisions are made based on subjective experiences instead of God’s trustworthy precepts found in His Word. Greg Koukl asks, “Does Scripture give us the liberty to assign the authority of divine fiat to our subjective experiences?” He answers, “Nowhere does the Bible give us that liberty. It does not enjoin us to assess our feelings and then judge whether they are a manifestation of the voice of God or not.”
Can we even trust our feelings?
“The question is not whether or not Jesus lives in our hearts in the person of the Holy Spirit. Having believed, we’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. We’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He indwells us. He convicts us of sin. He teaches us. The Holy Spirit regenerates us, washing us in the blood of Christ. He comforts us in difficult times. He confirms in our hearts that we are children of God. The Holy Spirit is in and through every part of our lives, and He ought to be. All of this is specifically taught in the Bible.
“The question is not whether there is a Holy Spirit, or whether that Holy Spirit indwells us, or whether that Holy Spirit does things for us or to us in an experiential, subjective way. All of those things are the case.
“The question is actually two-fold: Is it enough for Christians to simply say, ‘You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart. I have the confirmation of a subjective experience. I feel Jesus?’ The answer is no, it is not enough to say that–[T]he New Ager feels Jesus–Lots of people feel Jesus. They have psychological certainty that they’re children of God and that they’re right with God.” (Source)
Many Christians fall into the same trap as the cults and New Agers. Their trust is placed in subjective experiences rather than the objective Truth of Scripture. For cultural Christians, it’s not about knowing God; it’s about experiencing God. For many believers, feelings and experiences are what matters most. Forget about reading the Bible. Excuse my bluntness, but that’s just plain dumb! How will Christians be able to discern truth from fiction if they’re biblically illiterate? The answer comes from an article I wrote on spiritual discernment, Got Meat?:
“A thorough study of the Bible will equip the believer with understanding and wisdom that leads to maturity. Christians who don’t take time to study are unable to differentiate between God’s purpose and desire for their lives from their own aspirations.”
Which brings me to the burning question, “What does Scripture tell us about seeking God’s will for our lives?” John MacArthur tackled this in Plan of my Life: God’s Will. It is God’s will for all of us to be:
Sanctified – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
Saying thanks to God – 1 Thessalonians. 5:18
“If all those things are true in your life,” declares MacArthur, “you may do whatever you want. Psalm 37:4 says, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ That means that if you are conforming to God’s will in all the five ways listed above, He will place in your heart desires that reflect His will. So do what you want to do!”
There you have it. The six qualifications for knowing the will of God are first and foremost a person must be saved. What follows is the infilling of the Spirit, sanctification (being made holy) submission to Christ’s Lordship (emptying ourselves), suffering that glorifies God. When we do these things we are demonstrating that we genuinely love God. Thus, God will give us the desires of our hearts.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1, 2).
Liberals are responsible for much of the evil in America. But in their zeal to “Reclaim America for Christ” some well-intentioned pro-family conservatives have been introducing evil into the Church. I’m speaking of the “New Religious Right” (NRR) a term I borrowed from Brannon Howse. Ironically, in order to bring society back to its Judeo-Christian values, groups such as the American Family Association and the Family Research Council have brought out-and-out heretics and cultists out of the darkness into the limelight.
The NRR evolved out of the Religious Right (RR) of days gone by. Howse, who was acquainted with the founders of the movement, has gotten a lot of heat for voicing his concern over some of the people the NRR has chosen to unite with since the passing of the old guard. “I do not believe,” he said, “that many of the now deceased leaders of the religious right from the 1970s and 1980s would agree with the theological and doctrinal compromise of many of the leaders of today’s ‘New Religious Right’.”
The leaders Howse is speaking of are D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, Adrian Rogers and Tim LaHaye. LaHaye, author of the blockbuster Left Behind series, is still very much alive and supports the NRR. It seems he is willing to set aside theological and doctrinal differences to accomplish what he set out to do over 40 years ago. Has Dr. LaHaye forgotten 2 John 9:11?:
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (Bold mine)
I share Brannon Howse’s concern over the NRR. In their zeal to defeat the far-left’s anti-God agenda, they’ve been partnering with those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ.
The NRR has convinced a large number of evangelicals that if we can just change the system we will be able to influence human behavior and restore some moral sanity to this country. In order to achieve this lofty goal, conservative people of faith must become engaged in the culture war. To this end, casting our vote is of primary importance.
So far so good.
The NRR urges conservatives to become involved in politics at state and local levels; participate in special interest groups; take an interest in government schools and our institutions of higher learning; take part in lawful demonstrations and publicly held events. All of this must take place so that conservatives will play a larger role in influencing public policy.
I have no problem with any of this for the reason that we are told in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Thus, “both the state and the church are under God,” says R.C. Sproul, “The state is not sovereign; the state never has the right to do wrong. The state is always under the authority of God. God institutes government, God ordains government, and God will judge government. He holds government and all other institutions in our society responsible for doing what is right.” Later Sproul says, “God tells me as a Christian to pay my bills on time. He tells me not to use false weights and balances in my business. I think that it’s perfectly appropriate to recommend that the state have sound currency and not destroy the weights and balances of our society, to have honorable contracts and to do what is right. In other words, in those spheres of ethics that are right for all people, I believe it is a Christian’s responsibility to remind the state to stand for what is right.” (Source)
In my view, God’s people, including pastors, should speak publicly through whatever means possible — to include the pulpit. One reason for Christians being involved in politics and the culture war is to see that the state does what is right for all people. Another is to help the victims who are being enslaved by government and by wicked people. Michael A. Milton believes that the clergy must speak out because they speak with “biblical authority to other Beast-like powers when there are souls at risk or the honor of Christ and His Church is under siege.” (Source)
WHEN THE DEVIL COMES A KNOCKIN’…
” … I can visualize times when the only way to make plain the seriousness of what is involved in regard to a service or an activity where the gospel is going to be preached is not to accept an official part if men whose doctrine is known to be an enemy are going to be invited to participate officially. In an age of relativity, the practice of truth when it is costly is the only way to cause the world to take seriously our protestations concerning truth.” –Francis A. Schaeffer
To help further their political agenda the NRR has thrust evangelicals into syncretism as we merge with Catholics, Jews, Muslims, New Agers as well as with Social Justice Christians (I’ll cover this in part 3), false teachers, and those who are caught up in cults. So it’s no surprise to see NRR leaders sharing a stage with those in radical fringe groups such as the New Apostolic Reformation(NAR), International House of Prayer and Word-faith/prosperity preachers. The NRR has been warned by discernment ministries and Christian apologists who study the cults, the occult and aberrant movements that these people are teaching rank heresy. For instance, the aforementioned groups hold to “positive confession,” a belief that is firmly rooted in the metaphysical cults. In spite of what the Bible says in I Corinthians 10:20-21, NRR leaders have no problem uniting with modern day “apostles” and “prophets” who are in high positions in the NAR and with New Age Mormon Glenn Beck as they attempt to save America from the ravages of liberalism. Which begs the question: Why is the NRR not making every effort to save the Church from liberals, false teachers, New Agers, and the cults?
Instead of doing what is right in God’s eyes, the NRR has helped a host of heretics and cultists gain credibility not only with evangelicals but with Catholics, the conservative media, politicians, entertainers and the Tea Party. Partnering with the wicked is unacceptable for the reasons that: (1) God opposes the wicked; (2) The wicked should not be given a platform — especially when professing Christians provide that platform!
“Knowingly or unknowingly,” says Brannon Howse, “the New Religious Right is being used as “useful idiots” by which to implement the goals of the progressives. Please understand, I am not calling anyone a name. This is a historical term used to describe people that are knowingly or unknowingly used by socialists. (Source)
Therein lies the problem.
To “bring America back to God” the NRR has embraced the technique of pragmatism or “whatever works.”
“Some in the religious right,” says Phil Johnson, “seem to think the primary duty of the church in secular society is political lobbying. Evangelical politicians have displayed a frightening willingness to compromise spiritual principles, forge partnerships with unbelievers, and shift the focus of their message away from the gospel in favor of more broadly-appealing moral and political themes. Some seem willing to take whatever pragmatic means are necessary in order to influence the vote—as if the advancement of Christ’s kingdom depended on the American electoral process.” (Source)
THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, THE MEGA-CHURCH, AND THE DEVIL
Pragmatism is also popular among pastors. Blogger Tim Challies warned that pragmatism “has reared its ugly head throughout the Christian world. It is found in statements about evangelistic techniques such as “if it only reaches one person it is worth it.” It is found in Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Church, a textbook for church growth, where he writes “Never criticize any method that God is blessing.” He also says “We must be willing to adjust our worship practices when unbelievers are present. God tells us to be sensitive to the hang-ups of unbelievers in our services.” These ideas are not Biblical; they are rooted in the perceived consequences. Pragmatism is found wherever Christians run to join programs and hurry to change their worship services because of what they expect to see happen because of the changes they make. In short, it is found anywhere the emphasis is removed from what Scripture says and where the emphasis is placed on the expected results.” (Source)
In Part 1, I suggested ways in which evangelicals can offer a way back to a time when Americans knew the difference between right and wrong, before our beloved country started down the road to socialism, before she took a nose dive into moral depravity. The number one most important thing for the committed Christian to do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. (Rom 1:15-7) People are not going to change unless hearts and minds are changed. We love and forgive because we have been loved greatly and forgiven much.
Someone’s values are going to prevail in America. Will it be godless secular humanist/moral relativistic values of the Left we’re seeing today? Or the solid biblical values of yesteryear?
Presently, liberals are winning the culture war – and if they’re winning, conservatives are losing. Liberals are winning through the courts, when liberal judges rule in their favor; through elected officials who pass laws that line up with the Left’s agenda for society; and through bullying and fear mongering. And as I pointed out in Part 1, the liberal agenda has the full support of the entertainment industry as well as the mainstream media. They’re also winning because very few believers even know what a biblical worldview looks like anymore. Sadly, the visible Church has adopted an unbiblical worldview.
How could this happen?
My finger is pointed directly at Church leadership for the reason that many of them have failed to equip the Body of Christ with a decidedly Christian worldview. But what’s even worse is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is rarely preached in churches. In our postmodern world many so-called ministers of God are hip, cool people pleasers, preferring to preach a culturally “relevant” sermon that makes the audience feel good about God – and themselves.
Tim Challies made the point that instead of sticking to biblical orthodoxy, church leadership has adopted pragmatic methods to appeal to the consumer. Their main aim is to grow their church but in order to accomplish this, pastors must sell the benefits of Christianity to the consumer. So they have to come up with ways to entice “unchurched (unsaved) Harry and Mary” onto the church campus. They hope that once Harry and Mary are inside the auditorium they’ll realize all the “fun” things the church has to offer. Things like espresso bars…live bands that play contemporary worship music loud enough to blow the doors off the hinges…praise band singers whose voices could rival any America Idol winner…drama sketches with stage lighting and props – and I’ve just scratched the surface! Harry and Mary love the trendy church. Moreover, they love their non-judgmental pastor who sincerely believes his (or her) “calling” is to take care of people’s feelings.
In his piece, The Market-Driven Church, Gary Gilley underscores that, “fun has replaced holiness as the church’s goal. Having a good time has become the criterion of an excellent, growing church, since fun and entertainment is what church consumers want. Yet Scripture references encouraging churches to become havens of fun are, as one may suspect, sadly lacking.” (Source)
Pragmatism ushered in the church growth “Purpose-Driven” movement. Adopting a marketing strategy to grow the church has been hugely successful! As a result many churches are well attended. Problem is, pseudo Christians are the ones filling the pews…oops! Auditoriums.
Paul’s dire warning to Church leaders has fallen on deaf ears:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous [vicious] wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)
Part 1… part 3 coming soon!
No compromise ever, episode 1—Mike Abendroth’s discussion with James White, Carl Trueman and Phil Johnson on the Elephant Room 2 controversy
Worldview Weekend Training—Brannon Howse
Liberals changing word meanings with intent to deceive—By Marsha West
The Consumer-Driven Church—By Matt Slick
The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.
Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.
These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. “Positive psychologists.” Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot’s “the hollow men,” “the stuffed men.” “Shape without form, shade without colour,” the poet wrote. “Paralysed force, gesture without motion.”
It was the careerists who made possible the genocides, from the extermination of Native Americans to the Turkish slaughter of the Armenians to the Nazi Holocaust to Stalin’s liquidations. They were the ones who kept the trains running. They filled out the forms and presided over the property confiscations. They rationed the food while children starved. They manufactured the guns. They ran the prisons. They enforced travel bans, confiscated passports, seized bank accounts and carried out segregation. They enforced the law. They did their jobs.
Political and military careerists, backed by war profiteers, have led us into useless wars, including World War I, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. And millions followed them. Duty. Honor. Country. Carnivals of death. They sacrifice us all. In the futile battles of Verdun and the Somme in World War I, 1.8 million on both sides were killed, wounded or never found. In July of 1917 British Field Marshal Douglas Haig, despite the seas of dead, doomed even more in the mud of Passchendaele. By November, when it was clear his promised breakthrough at Passchendaele had failed, he jettisoned the initial goal—as we did in Iraq when it turned out there were no weapons of mass destruction and in Afghanistan when al-Qaida left the country—and opted for a simple war of attrition. Haig “won” if more Germans than allied troops died. Death as score card. Passchendaele took 600,000 more lives on both sides of the line before it ended. It is not a new story. Generals are almost always buffoons. Soldiers followed John the Blind, who had lost his eyesight a decade earlier, to resounding defeat at the Battle of Crécy in 1337 during the Hundred Years War. We discover that leaders are mediocrities only when it is too late.
David Lloyd George, who was the British prime minister during the Passchendaele campaign, wrote in his memoirs: “[Before the battle of Passchendaele] the Tanks Corps Staff prepared maps to show how a bombardment which obliterated the drainage would inevitably lead to a series of pools, and they located the exact spots where the waters would gather. The only reply was a peremptory order that they were to ‘Send no more of these ridiculous maps.’ Maps must conform to plans and not plans to maps. Facts that interfered with plans were impertinencies.”
Here you have the explanation of why our ruling elites do nothing about climate change, refuse to respond rationally to economic meltdown and are incapable of coping with the collapse of globalization and empire. These are circumstances that interfere with the very viability and sustainability of the system. And bureaucrats know only how to serve the system. They know only the managerial skills they ingested at West Point or Harvard Business School. They cannot think on their own. They cannot challenge assumptions or structures. They cannot intellectually or emotionally recognize that the system might implode. And so they do what Napoleon warned was the worst mistake a general could make—paint an imaginary picture of a situation and accept it as real. But we blithely ignore reality along with them. The mania for a happy ending blinds us. We do not want to believe what we see. It is too depressing. So we all retreat into collective self-delusion.
In Claude Lanzmann’s monumental documentary film “Shoah,” on the Holocaust, he interviews Filip Müller, a Czech Jew who survived the liquidations in Auschwitz as a member of the “special detail.” Müller relates this story:
“One day in 1943 when I was already in Crematorium 5, a train from Bialystok arrived. A prisoner on the ‘special detail’ saw a woman in the ‘undressing room’ who was the wife of a friend of his. He came right out and told her: ‘You are going to be exterminated. In three hours you’ll be ashes.’ The woman believed him because she knew him. She ran all over and warned to the other women. ‘We’re going to be killed. We’re going to be gassed.’ Mothers carrying their children on their shoulders didn’t want to hear that. They decided the woman was crazy. They chased her away. So she went to the men. To no avail. Not that they didn’t believe her. They’d heard rumors in the Bialystok ghetto, or in Grodno, and elsewhere. But who wanted to hear that? When she saw that no one would listen, she scratched her whole face. Out of despair. In shock. And she started to scream.”
Blaise Pascal wrote in “Pensées,” “We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us from seeing it.”
Hannah Arendt, in writing “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” noted that Adolf Eichmann was primarily motivated by “an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement.” He joined the Nazi Party because it was a good career move. “The trouble with Eichmann,” she wrote, “was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal.”
“The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else,” Arendt wrote. “No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.”
Gitta Sereny makes the same point in her book “Into That Darkness,” about Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka. The assignment to the SS was a promotion for the Austrian policeman. Stangl was not a sadist. He was soft-spoken and polite. He loved his wife and children very much. Unlike most Nazi camp officers, he did not take Jewish women as concubines. He was efficient and highly organized. He took pride in having received an official commendation as the “best camp commander in Poland.” Prisoners were simply objects. Goods. “That was my profession,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It fulfilled me. And yes, I was ambitious about that, I won’t deny it.” When Sereny asked Stangl how as a father he could kill children, he answered that he “rarely saw them as individuals. It was always a huge mass. … [T]hey were naked, packed together, running, being driven with whips. …” He later told Sereny that when he read about lemmings it reminded him of Treblinka.
Christopher Browning’s collection of essays, “The Path to Genocide,” notes that it was the “moderate,” “normal” bureaucrats, not the zealots, who made the Holocaust possible. Germaine Tillion pointed out “the tragic easiness [during the Holocaust] with which ‘decent’ people could become the most callous executioners without seeming to notice what was happening to them.” The Russian novelist Vasily Grossman in his book “Forever Flowing” observed that “the new state did not require holy apostles, fanatic, inspired builders, faithful, devout disciples. The new state did not even require servants—just clerks.”
“The most nauseating type of S.S. were to me personally the cynics who no longer genuinely believed in their cause, but went on collecting blood guilt for its own sake,” wrote Dr. Ella Lingens-Reiner in “Prisoners of Fear,” her searing memoir of Auschwitz. “Those cynics were not always brutal to the prisoners, their behavior changed with their mood. They took nothing seriously—neither themselves nor their cause, neither us nor our situation. One of the worst among them was Dr. Mengele, the Camp Doctor I have mentioned before. When a batch of newly arrived Jews was being classified into those fit for work and those fit for death, he would whistle a melody and rhythmically jerk his thumb over his right or his left shoulder—which meant ‘gas’ or ‘work.’ He thought conditions in the camp rotten, and even did a few things to improve them, but at the same time he committed murder callously, without any qualms.”
These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing. Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward. The polar ice caps melt. The droughts rage over cropland. The drones deliver death from the sky. The state moves inexorably forward to place us in chains. The sick die. The poor starve. The prisons fill. And the careerist, plodding forward, does his or her job.
Source: Chris Hedges | Truthdig
Contrary to popular belief angels are neither chubby little babes with rosy cheeks nor are they exquisite young women with gossamer wings decked out in long flowing gowns. The Bible reveals very little about angels. What we do know is that God sends angels to do His bidding.
The Bible mentions two elect holy angels (the good guys) by name: Michael and Gabriel. Scripture also mentions the Angel of the Lord; Michael the archangel; the Captain of the Host of the Lord; messengers; and guardians.
Also mentioned are fallen angels (the bad guys). Lucifer, one of God’s highest angels, led a revolt against God and was banished from heaven along with his followers which is said to be a third of the angels. There are many names for Lucifer such as Satan, Devil, Prince of Darkness and Beelzebub. The other rebels became demons. In the future God will judge Satan and his demons.
Angels are spirit beings and are neither male nor female. In the Bible they appear to people as males, never as females.
Because I have written several articles on angeles I’m often asked if angels are among us today.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares(Heb. 13:2).
Those who believe they are experiencing an angel visitation must scrutinize what the angel purports. For example, does your angel point you to Jesus Christ or away from Him? Elect holy angels (from here on out referred to as angels) will always point you to Christ, never to anyone else, living or deceased, which includes the Apostles and the Virgin Mary.
Angels never espouse new doctrines or extra-biblical (special) revelation. Likewise, they do not point individuals to religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, et al.
Angels by no means encourage participation in the counterfeit religions’ holy days, festivals, ceremonies and rituals, nor do they advance the idea of having a sacred place or space.
Angels would never suggest that people involve themselves in occult activities. Currently, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is all the rage, even among Christians. Angels absolutely do not direct anyone to embrace this pagan practice. TM is not biblical meditation. Instead of meditating on God’s Word, the practitioner goes into an altered-state-of-consciousness (alpha state) which is a light dream state in order to connect with “god.” It should be a big red flag that New Agers are advocates of TM. In fact, many so-called psychics make meditation a part of their spiritual practice to contact their “spirit guides.”
Sadly, many Christians who have embraced The Silence aka contemplative, or centering, or breathprayer are woefully unaware that what they’re practicing is unbiblical meditation.
And then we have “Christian yoga” spreading like a wild fire through the Christian community. I realize that this may not go over well with some readers, however, even if your yoga class is led by a Christian and held in a church, it is taboo!
The bottom line is this: Angels would not, could not, promote anything God expressly forbids – and He forbids His children to have any part in pagan religious practices, nor are we to embrace the world’s philosophies.
Bear in mind that the holy angels are incapable of going against God, whereas unholy angels continuously go against God in their quest to lead people astray. In 2 Cor. 4:4 we learn that Satan is the “god of this world.” According to Gotquestions.com:
The phrase“god of this world”… indicates that Satan is the major influence on the mind-set expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His areas of influence also encompass the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. (Source)
I’m also frequently asked if God allows us to contact angels.
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:31).
It is a complete waste of time to “call your angel” or to try to contact angels by constructing an altar…lighting candles…burning incense…meditating… or any other way that allegedly makes angels feel comfortable. God forbids His people from contacting the spirit realm! And besides, regenerate Christians have direct access to God through the Son, Jesus Christ. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1Tim 2:5) So, why would we call on angels or anybody else when we can go directly to God through Christ?
Those who contact angels (or spirit guides) are inviting demons! Demons can and do possess humans! Both holy and unholy angels are notgiven the authority to indwell believers. The reason is obvious: the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a person at the moment of regeneration. Once the Spirit takes up residence in a believer, He never leaves. Listen to what Jesus said:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:16-17).
Those who are truly saved are God’s property:
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Again, believers cannot be demon possessed. They are, however, susceptible to demonic oppression.
Demonic oppression is when a demon is temporarily victorious over a Christian, successful in tempting a Christian to sin, and able to hinder a Christian’s ability to serve God with a strong testimony. (Source)
I’m going to close with this warning: Contacting angels is neither wise nor safe.
Plastic pastors transparent enough to see through, like Joel Osteen, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Modalistic moguls of the painfully-obvious-money-hungry prosperity movement, like T.D. Jakes, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. Self-serving sorcerers of the false signs and wonders movement, like Todd Bentley, are not as dangerous as Rick Warren. No. None of the before-mentioned personalities or groups are all that dangerous because what you see is what you get. They all lack the ability to change their appearance to accommodate a change in environment. They lack the chameleon-like ability, the self-serving ability, to say what needs to be said in order to keep people in every camp liking them.—Tony Miano
In part 1 I brought you up to speed on what some “watchbloggers” refer to as “Kingsway-gate.” I’m guessing we haven’t heard the end of this mess. However, this matter and many others commented on in part 1 have helped to earn Rick Warren the title: Teflon Pastor. So we shall see what happens with Kingsway-gate.
Common ground in the love of God…or god?
Most likely Saddleback Church congregants are unaware that their pastor signed a controversial document produced by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture titled Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You. In July 2008 Christian and Muslim leaders gathered at Yale University for a conference to promote understanding and peace between Christians and Muslims. The letter urged the two faiths to find “common ground” in the love of God. Since Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same God, one wonders which God we’re to find common ground with.
The Christian Post reported that Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, “disagreed with key points raised in the letter because he felt they compromised the Christian faith [and] amid calls for love in a common God, the letter ‘failed to clearly define the Christian understanding of God as the trinity.’”
So why would any serious Christian sign a document that did not clearly define the Trinity?
Rick Warren claims he believes in the Trinity and we must take him at his word on this. But to what extent does his belief in the Trinity come through in his ministry to Muslims? Does he keep his Trinitarian belief close to the vest so as not to offend them? Or is he forthcoming in his belief that there is one true God who exists in three co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? If his Muslim friends cannot understand his view of the Godhead, perhaps he’s not bothering to explain it to them.
The Christian Post report revealed some of the notable leaders at the conference:
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan; former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi of Sudan; Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and international director of World Evangelical Alliance; Leith Anderson, president of NAE; and Antonios Kireopoulos of the National Council of Churches. A handful of Jewish leaders will also attend the conference.
Scroll through the list of signatories and you’ll discover several other notable leaders (theological liberals) such as Emerging church proponents Brian McLaren, Tony Jones and Scot McKnight; prosperity evangelist David Yonggi Cho; one of the “seeker-sensitive” architects, Bill Hybles; Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; David Neff, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today; gospel of self-esteem sageRobert Schuller; Marxist sympathizer Jim Wallis (mentioned in part 1); and of course Rick Warren.
Certainly biblical unity can be a good thing, but as Phil Johnson reminds us:
The concept of “unity” commonly touted today has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘being in full accord and of one mind’ (Philippians 2:2). Instead, it is a broad, visible, ecumenical homogeneity without boundaries. And that is nothing like the biblical concept of unity.
What did Jesus say regarding unity? “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).
Global peace, at last
April 17, 2005 speaking before 30,000 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Rick Warren breathlessly proclaimed his plan:
The bottom line is that we intend to reinvent mission strategy in the 21st century. As I stated, this will be a new Reformation. The First Reformation returned us to the message of the original church. It was a reformation of doctrine – what the church BELIEVES. This Second Reformation will return us to the mission of the original church. It will be a reformation of PURPOSE – what the church DOES in the world.
Our goal will be to enlist one billion foot soldiers for the Kingdom of God, who will permanently change the face of international missions to take on these five ‘global giants’ for which the church can become the ultimate distribution and change agent to overcome Spiritual emptiness, Self-serving Leadership, Poverty, disease and ignorance . (Online source)
Warren put forth his program for global Christian dominion. He also encouraged the crowd, the majority of them Christians, to adopt the same sort of dedication shown by followers of Hitler, Lenin, and Mao.
The New Apostolic Purpose Driven Reformation
As Rick Warren reveals the details of his global agenda, more and more Christians are expressing concern over it. And so are liberals. In fact liberals are so uneasy over what he and other dominionists are doing that the New Apostolic Research Group was formed. Far-left blogger Bruce Wilson is part of it. In a 2009 column Wilson declared:
Both C. Peter Wagner and Rick Warren want to transform the world, and both [1,2] have proclaimed the advent of a second Reformation. Wagner calls it the New Apostolic Reformation, while for Rick Warren this is a “purpose driven” effort powered by Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In Uganda both visions for societal transformation appear to include the categorical elimination of homosexuality – by any means.
By any means? Hyperbole, I presume. As a committed lefty, Bruce Wilson fully supports the radical homosexual agenda to normalize sodomy and other aberrant behavior.
Rick Warren wrote his 1993 dissertation for a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminar, under Wagner’s supervision. It is titled New Churches For a New Generation: Church Planting to Reach Baby Boomers. In his 2008 book “Dominion”, C. Peter Wagner describes the process through which this brand of Christianity can take dominion over government and society, and Wagner claims that this can be done within a democratic framework. Wagner clearly states that Rick Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an example of “stage one”:
Wagner is the Convening Apostle in a movement of charismatic “relational networks” which has extended its reach from the United States to Uganda, and worldwide. Under its umbrella of authority are virulently anti-gay apostles in the United States and Uganda including Lou Engle of TheCall, who led thousands of young people in a twelve hour November 1, 2008 stadium rally in support of California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition Eight. The San Diego event closed with Engle, a member of Wagner’s inner circle of “prophets,” calling for Christian martyrs. Wagner’s plans include reorganizing charismatic Christianity under the authority of these apostles and prophets. (links in original) (Online source)
Wilson has done his homework on the NAR. Unbelievably, most Christians have not taken this movement seriously even though these false teachers have united with the Christian Right, politicians, rock-star pastors, entertainers, radio personalities, and a host of Christian leaders. Likewise, New Age Mormon Glenn Beck has weaseled his way into these groups. (Learn more about the NAR here.)
Growing a church
In Break Through These 3 Barriers to Growth “Coach” Warren outlines three essentials for breaking through the barriers to church growth. Following is barrier #2:
You must change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader.
What’s the difference? In leadership, you take the initiative; in ministry, you respond to the needs of others. When someone calls and you pick up the phone, that’s ministry. When you pick up the phone and call someone, that’s leadership. Typically, you learn ministry skills in seminary, but you learn leadership skills in seminars. Pastoring is a balance. Here are five skills you must learn if your church is going to grow:
…Learn to communicate your vision.
…Learn the ability to motivate through messages.
…Learn how to equip for ministry. If you don’t learn how to coach, you will not be able to equip. And, if you do not equip, you will burn out in ministry.
…Learn how to raise money. Those who write the agenda must also be able to underwrite it.
…Learn the skill of managing your time and energy.
What about Rick Warren’s view of growing a church? In Ordinary Pastors, part 2: A Biblical Definition of Ministry C. J. Mahaney defines pastoral ministry thusly:
Pastoral ministry that is pleasing to God is not ultimately about gifting, influence, or even fruitfulness. It is not about how many books you have written, which conferences invite you to speak, or how many of your sermons are downloaded on iTunes. It is not even about whether your church membership numbers grow or shrink. Pastoral ministry that is pleasing to God is about faithfulness to the charge of 2 Timothy 4. You and I are called to be faithful to this charge.
For the record, here’s what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:1-5:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Peace + unity = universalism
In part 1, I pointed out that Rick Warren serves on the advisory board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and that the foundation’s goal is to unify the world’s major religions. Following is Warren’s explanation for serving:
The vision and values of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation are desperately needed today…. In any effort to help people learn to live and work together, we must engage the vast networks, resources, wisdom, and influence of the faith communities. My friends, [Roman Catholic] Tony Blair is uniquely prepared with the gifts of temperament, knowledge, experience, leadership, and global respect essential for a task this great. I honestly don’t know of anyone better suited for this challenge. It’s why I agreed to serve on the Advisory Board. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s potential for doing good is staggering.
What is staggering is that a Protestant pastor has no problem with a Catholic’s plan to unite all religious faiths. In a piece I wrote titled Damnable heresies invading the church I touched on the push for unity:
What Warren is purporting is ecumenicism. Actually, we are moving beyond ecumenicism intointerspirituality (interfaith spirituality) or interdenominational cooperation. “In the name of peace and unity,” says Ray Yungen, “the world’s religions are more and more joining together. And with that joining together will come a consensus that it is narrow minded and even hateful to say there is only one way to salvation.”
Peace and unity has a nice ring to it. But traditional, historic, evangelical Christianity holds that there is only one path to God, one door to enter through. Peter left no doubt when he said, “Salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:10). (Also see John 3:16, John 6:66-68, John 14:6, Acts 16:30-31, 1 Tim 2:3-6, 1 John 2:1) The Bible clearly teaches that all paths do not lead to God. Those who take a different path will spend eternity in hell. So the loving thing for a committed Christian to do is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. In fact, Jesus commanded His followers to go out into the world and spread the good news. Those who keep the good news to themselves fail to understand that God gives no second chances. Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mat. 7:22).
My reason for this article (part 1&2) is to highlight some very concerning issues related to Rick Warren. Each of the concerns that were identified could have been substantially expanded upon and if that is the readers’ desire there are links and references that will help one to do that. My purpose has been to urge his followers and supporters to be like the Bereans who “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
In these dark days ahead, God’s people must be watchful and discerning. We must “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thes 5:21).
Recommended articles and videos:
Read Part 1
Articles by Joseph Farah of Worldnet Daily:
The purpose-driven lie—11/16/06
Rick Warren on Syria: ‘A moderate country’–11/26/06
Listen to what Rick Warren said about Syria in an audio version of the video message his church pulled down from YouTube after it was exposed by Farah
There you go again, Rick Warren–12/26/06
Rick Warren’s distortions of reality—12/13/07
“One wonders if Pastor Warren’s discussions with President Assad about peace included a presentation of the Gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, as promoted in the author’s new P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The opportunity for an evangelical leader to meet with the head of a terror regime is rare.” –Lawrence E. Ford, Sr., Institute for Creation Research
John MacArthur on the Purpose Driven Life
Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church
Rick Warren’s SHAPE acronym is explained
Articles on the New Apostolic Reformation—On Solid Rock Resources
“The gospel’s most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world.” – Phil Johnson
“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
There is a spiritual battle of epic proportions going on in churches all over the globe that should drive serious Christians to their knees. A whole host of aberrant to downright heretical movements have slithered into contemporary evangelicalism and more are being added to the mix virtually every day.
Unbiblical teaching is rampant in mainline Protestant denominations as well as in non-denominational churches. Inside our churches you will find men and women teaching rank heresy. Sunday after Sunday people flock to churches and become a captive audience to those who preach outlandish lies and half-truths. Televangelists are the worst offenders! Many of them are money grubbing charlatans! As a result of false teachers and cult leaders gaining worldwide access to churches and Christian ministries over these past few decades to spread their false doctrines, evangelical Christianity is experiencing a downward spiral.
The good news is: “Upon this rock I will build my church,” said the Lord Jesus Christ, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18).
Matthew Henry stated that “Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other!”
Triple “woe” goes to the wolves that have infiltrated evangelicalism and show a startling disregard for the major tenets of the faith.
Speaking of wolves, somewhere around 45,000 people attend Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear Pastor –celebrity Joel Osteen preach the word-faith prosperity gospel “lite.” The Lakewood services are broadcast in over 100 countries. Gary Gilley reveals that:
Osteen has no theological training and it is obvious from his books, sermons and interviews on television that he has little knowledge of the Scripture. Nevertheless, he has caught an unprecedented wave of popularity and could clearly claim the title as the most admired pastor in America.
Osteen brags that he teaches a non-confrontational gospel. He believes:
There’s a lot of negativity in the world. We need somebody to bring us hope and somebody to tell us that we can overcome our past and break free from addictions and things like that. And, you know, our whole message is that Jesus came to help us live a great life. And some people are not going to agree with that. (Online source)
I for one disagree with Joel’s statement that Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.” Tell that to the persecuted church! Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world,” so for many the “great life” Osteen speaks of will not be experienced here on earth, but in the Kingdom of God. The reason Jesus came to earth was to set the captives free! Free from what? Free from sin and death! Why? We are dead in our sins. And by the way, sin is an odious thing – and the God of the Bible is infinitely holy and righteous. (Isaiah 6:3, Rev. 4:8, 2 Thess. 1:6)
Sin makes us unclean, thus the unredeemed are not permitted in the presence of holiness. How do people get clean? By believing in Jesus! Believe that He came to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. When He died on the cross our debt was paid for – in full. He died once, for all. Only believers will spend eternity in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Contrary to popular belief there is no way to have a relationship with the One true God unless we believe that we are sinners in need of Savior, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) God says sinners must be punished, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
This is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly, this is not the gospel people hear from Joel Osteen and countless other word-faith prosperity preachers.
The intent of this article is not to fully examine the Word of Faith Movement (WF), but to give readers a glimpse into their beliefs. At the end of this piece are links to articles and videos of a few prominent word-faith teachers. It’s important to take the time to watch these so called teachers and preachers in action.
Following is a summary of WF teaching:
God created man in “God’s class,” as “little gods,” with the potential to exercise what they refer to as the “God-kind of faith” in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. Of course, we forfeited this opportunity by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature), went to hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be what they call “little gods.” Since we’re called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in virtually every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is even taught by the faith teachers) to be left by one’s spouse, simply means that you don’t have enough faith — or you have some secret sin in your life, because if you didn’t, you would be able to handle all of these problems.
In every instance, the “Word-Faith” teaching is guilty of presenting an inflated view of man and a deflated view of God, thereby compromising God’s message as revealed in the Bible. This fast-growing movement has disastrous implications and, in fact, reduces Jesus Christ to a means to an end — when in fact he is the end. If the New Age Movement is the greatest threat to the church from without, “positive confession” may well be it’s greatest threat from within. (Online source)
The WF is considered a metaphysical cult. Pastor/teacher John MacArthur calls it Satanic. WF holds that faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, hence name-it-and-claim-it. When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything we want!
As I previously stated, word-faith teaching ranges from aberrant to outright heretical. As such these people must be exposed. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14).
It is imperative that serious Christians recognize word-faith teaching. Therefore I’m including Beyond Grace’s Word Faith Top Ten which is an abbreviated version of an article Tricia Tillin wrote: Top Ten Reasons for rejecting Word-of-Faith doctrine.
It requires ‘revelation knowledge’.
It makes the Almighty God and Creator a weak ‘faith-being’ who is at the mercy of His own universal laws.
It makes the Divine Son of God into a born-again man who had to die in Hell to pay the price for our treason.
It elevates man to equality with Jesus.
It makes man a god.
It makes the redemption into a restoration of dominion for mankind.
Its goal is the transformation of the earth by spiritual dominion.
It replaces prayer with confession, and God’s will with the manipulation of ‘forces’.
It denies the reality of sin and sickness.
It focuses on self and the world instead of God and Heaven. (Tillin’s article expands on these ten points)
To avoid being taken in by false teachers and cult leaders Christians must have some knowledge of heretical movements such as the word-faith/prosperity gospel/name-it-and-claim-it. Another movement that is steeped in word-faith theology that’s taking the Church by storm is the New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism aka Latter Rain/Kingdom Theology/Kingdom Now/Charismatic Renewal/Third Wave/Joel’s Army/Manifest(ed) Sons of God. Read about this dangerous movement here.
Most false teachers and cultists do not take the opposition’s rebuke or criticism lying down. In part 4 of a piece I wrote titled Doublespeak: The Language of Deception I explained how words are often used as a club against anyone who reports on the aberrant teaching of those who have “Christian rock star” status:
…Conservative Christian apologists and those involved in the counter cult and discernment ministries who dare to expose apostates are accused of being divisive. For example, if a conservative attempts to combat the spread of the social justice gospel that emphasizes good deeds without the power of the gospel, their liberal critics cry “Pharisee!” Implying that these critics are Pharisees is another way of saying that they are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and unloving — and yes, even intolerant and bigoted.
Word Faith (false) teachers use “heresy hunter” to define the opposition. But in reality discernment ministries are “truth-seekers.”
What is heresy and what is a heresy hunter? According to Let Us Reason Ministries:
“Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles teachings — the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Biblical heresy is often a denial of the core beliefs held in the Church that are founded on the Bible. In this sense it applies to groups which reject basic Christian doctrines and separate themselves from the historic church.”
Most mature Christians recognize heresy when it rears its ugly head. But when they speak out against prominent false teachers who are leading the Body of Christ astray, their bamboozled followers invariably play the Matthew 7:1 card:
“Judge not, lest you be judged.”
This is doublespeak for: Shut the heck up!
First of all, discernment demands that we make judgments. As my pastor, Stan Way, said in a recent sermon, faithful Christians live their lives in a new center of gravity – the biblical worldview. Serious Christians must stand up and speak the truth with conviction and courage. We must be willing to lose our life for Christ and the gospel. In other words, for truth! Further, we must be willing to be treated with contempt by the world. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
So – I am going to name names. The list of popular word-faith teachers numbers in the hundreds. Following are the names of a few of these who have risen to a more prominent status:
Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Paula White, Paul and Jan Crouch, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Jentezen Franklin, Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Juanita Bynum, Rod Parsley, Ed Young, Eddie Long, Rodney Howard Brown, Joseph Prince, Kim Clement, Cindy Trimm, and John Hagee.
As I have indicated in this piece there are things going on in the Church that are deeply disturbing. And for this reason it is imperative that Christians have no fear of exposing those who “hack away at the foundations of faith.” We really have no choice, the reason being that the Bible commands the Body of Christ to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
Recommended videos and articles:
Articles on Word of Faith/Televangelists – On Solid Rock Resources
Articles on the New Apostolic Reformation – On Solid Rock Resources
“Bishop” T.D. Jakes
Read: Benny Hinn
An explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Sunday morning, killing at least 25 people. A radical Muslim group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the attack and another bombing in the city of Jos, as explosions also struck the nation’s predominantly Muslim northeast. The Christmas Day attacks show the growing national ambition of Boko Haram, was responsible for some 500 murders this year alone. The assaults come a year after a series of Christmas Eve bombings in Jos claimed by the militants left at least 32 dead and 74 wounded.
Egypt’s dwindling Copts have seen their position deteriorate over the past year from precarious to perilous. Already facing discrimination and harassment from Mubarak’s secular regime, they now see that things could get a lot worse under the Islamists who are poised to take power. Their annus horribilis started on New Year’s Day 2011, when a powerful car bomb targeted a Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 25 parishioners and wounding nearly 100 just as they were finishing midnight Mass. The next turning point was the Maspero massacre on October 9, when 27 unarmed Christian protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, not by some shadowy Islamic extremists but by the military. An official commission—established by the Army—has unsurprisingly absolved the Army of all responsibility for the killings.
The country’s eventual transition to what passes for democracy in the Muslim world is going to make matters far worse for the Copts, who are fearful the army and courts will no longer be able to shield them from ever-greater discrimination and harassment. The writing is on the wall. The Freedom and Justice Party, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood, won the second round of the three-stage parliamentary elections last Wednesday and Thursday, taking 38 of the 59 seats contested; an even more radical group, the Salafist Nour Party, won 13 seats. The adherents of political Islam, in other words, have captured 86 percent of all seats contested. Their spiritual leader is Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who in a recent video reminded the faithful that Christians are kuffar, or infidels. After quoting Quran 5:17 (“Infidels are those who declare God is Jesus, son of Mary”) he went on to declare that any association between a human and God (shirk) is the greatest sin: “Whoever thinks Christ is God, or the Son of God, not symbolically—for we are all sons of God—but attributively, has rejected the faith which God requires for salvation.”
The Sheikh’s position is eminently mainstream in the Muslim world, which may explain the fact that he is still hailed in the West as a moderate. Three years ago, in a U.S. News article titled “Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam,” Lawrence Wright described him as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam”: “He is the kind of cleric the West longs for, because of his assurances that there is no conflict with democratic rule and no need for theocracy.” His assurances, indeed… On this form watch out for the Coptic Exodus of 2012, on par with that of the Christians in Iraq since the “liberation” of 2003.
Iraq’s dwindling Christian population marked Christmas on Sunday with religious leaders calling for peace, days after attacks across Baghdad killed dozens. A week after US forces completed their withdrawal from the country, a senior bishop noted that little was being done to prevent a continuing Christian exodus from Iraq. As worshippers gathered for Sunday morning Christmas services, their churches were guarded by armored security vehicles, heavily-armed soldiers and policemen patrolling the surrounding streets and guarding rooftops. “Our faithful are like everyone in Iraq—they have fear,” Chaldean Bishop Shlemon Warduni told AFP. “They feel there is no peace, no security, so they go where they can live in peace. We don’t agree, we don’t want them (to go), but they say, ‘If we don’t go, can you ensure my life, can you ensure my job, can you ensure the future?’ … The government cannot ensure their lives, how can we ensure their lives?”
The Christian community in Iraq was some two million strong before the US-led invasion of 2003. Up to four-fifths are estimated to have left the country in recent years following a series of attacks by Muslim extremists. On October 31, 2010, an Al-Qaeda assault on a Baghdad church left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force members dead. “We have concerns about the US withdrawal, despite the security forces saying it will be safe,” says Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk. “There has been a failure to ensure the safety of Christians—the security forces are not sufficiently prepared to ensure the protection of Christians. Even though we have repeatedly asked to raise the level of security, the results are not encouraging.” According to Sako, 57 churches and houses of worship in Iraq have been attacked since the invasion, with more than 900 Christians killed and more than 6 000 wounded.
Syria has the largest Christian community in the region, some 2.5 million strong. Most of them are supporting President Bashar Al Assad amidst ongoing protests in the country. A Syrian Christian explained that they prefer“a brutal dictator who guarantees the rights of religious minorities to the uncertain future that Assad’s departure might bring.” It is not to be doubted that if the Obama Administration is successful in its stated objective of bringing Assad down, the Christians in Syria will follow their Iraqi brethren into exile.
Two thousand miles further east, Asia Bibi, a mother of five children, is one of a dozen Christians in the province of Punjab currently awaiting appeal or execution under Pakistan’s scandalous blasphemy laws. On Christmas Day, after a year in jail, she will not be able to say prayers or to see her children and husband. She is being held in isolation, has not been allowed to bathe for over two months, and cannot stand unsupported. It is worthy of note that Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was assassinated last January and Federal Minorities Minister Shahbaz_Bhatti was killed in March for defending Asia Bibi and criticizing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Pakistan has a constitution that guarantees religious freedom, but murders, discrimination, and violent harassment of its small Christian minority are persistent. Any dispute with a Muslim—most commonly over land—can become a religious confrontation. Christians are routinely accused of “blasphemy against Islam,” an offense that carries the death penalty. Charges of blasphemy can be made on the flimsiest of evidence—one man’s word against another, and since it is invariably a Muslim’s word against that of a Christian, the outcome is preordained. The ease with which blasphemy charges can be made to stick has led to a spate of malicious complaints motivated by personal enmity and greed, especially for the Christians’ land. On many occasions Christians charged with blasphemy have been murdered before their cases reached the courts.
The scene is the same in Alexandria, Aceh, Istanbul, Prishtina, Karachi, Nazareth… Heavily armed police guard churches as hostile crowds look on. Wherever Muslim numbers dominate, Christians have reason to fear for their safety. The majority know Sheikh Ali Goma is right. The refusal of the People of the Book to acknowledge him, Muhammad, as the messenger of God doomed them to unbelief and eternal suffering after death (Kuran 5:72-73). Christians are mortal sinners and their condemnation is irrevocable: “God will forbid him the garden and the fire will be his abode… They blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a trinity; for there is no god except One Allah. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him.” (5:75)
As he progressed from a moral teacher to the secular ruler of Medina and master of people’s destinies, Muhammad made the final break with the Jews and Christians, who are fiercely denounced. The Muslims must be merciless to the unbelievers but kind to each other. (48:29) “Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them.” (5:55) The punishment for resistance is execution or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides. (5:33) Muhammad was no longer trying to convert; Allah is a repetitive polemicist rejoicing in infidel suffering.
Thirteen centuries of Islam have effectively eliminated Christianity from the land of its birth. The terminal decline of the Christian remnant in the Middle East has been accompanied by the indifference of the post-Christian West to its impending demise. Once-thriving Christian communities are now tiny minorities, and in most countries of the region their percentages have been reduced to single digits. Whether they disappear will partly depend on Western leaders belatedly expressing their outrage at Christian persecution. According to David Parsons, media director for the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, there is clear historic precedent for such outside intervention in the Arab/Muslim world to protect Christian communities:
As Ottoman rule over the Middle East began to wane, the Great Powers moved into the region, each concluding deals with the Sultanate in Istanbul to provide protection to various imperiled Christian denominations. British envoys arrived to safeguard Protestant interests, France the Lebanese Christians, Russia the Orthodox folds. The Vatican also stepped in to aid certain sects… These Western interlocutors all brought with them schools, hospitals and other modern institutions, thus vastly improving the education, health and job opportunities of the local Christians. With this benevolent influx also came advances for all peoples of the region. Some locals are sure to object to any renewed Western intervention on behalf of Middle East Christians as a form of neo-colonialism. But no one has territorial designs here anymore.
It is just a matter of plain human decency, Parsons concludes: “No coddling of Islamist regimes! Sanctions if necessary! Someone has to do something to help stop the endless bleeding of Eastern Christianity.”
It is a near-certainty, however, that that “someone” will not be the U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama.
If the Jewish or Muslim population of America or Western Europe were to start declining at the rate at which Christian communities are disappearing in the Middle East, there would be an outcry from their coreligionists all over the world. There would be government-funded programs to establish the causes and provide remedies. The endangered minority would be awarded instant victim status and would be celebrated as such by the media and the academy. By contrast, when the President of the United States visited Jerusalem in October 1994, he was steps away from the most sacred Christian shrines but did not visit any of them. He did not meet a single representative of the Christian community, which remained invisible to him. A decade later, as busloads of American evangelicals stare at the Western Wall dreaming of a rebuilt temple that will provide an eschatological shortcut through history, the remnant of that community is on the verge of extinction—unseen and unlamented.
The one crucial difference between the Gospels and the Kuran is God’s love and His desire to redeem sinners by way of sacrifice. Without sacrifice there is no forgiveness, no atonement and no reconciliation that gives meaning to life and creation. Without it there is no salvation, which is why no true Muslim can ever be saved.